Lichfield and Burntwood ambulances to be controlled by new centre

Ambulance staff at the new control centre

Ambulance staff at the new control centre

Ambulances across Lichfield and Burntwood are set to be managed from one a new state-of-the-art centre.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is moving its ambulance control centre from the current location at Stone Road in Stafford to a brand new home on the Tollgate in the early hours of tomorrow morning (October 14).

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which processes more than 3,000 999 calls every week, will also be able to use the full capabilities of the ARP digital radio system and be moving onto a new Regional Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, all of which will bring significant benefits to the County.

The move will see the control room team joining Operations, Fleet and Trust Corporate Departments who made staged moves to the new building throughout the last year.

The Tollgate centre boasts 84 work stations – a massive increase on the current site at Stone Road Site. This will allow it to become the second Regional control centre in the West Midlands and is a mirror image of the site at Brierely Hill. These are supported by a third smaller centre in Leamington Spa.

The room has space to provide training for staff and could be used to run the ambulance part of a major incident such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Daren Fradgley, Regional Head of EOC’s said:

“A major advantage to implementing this regional system is that the Trust resilience is greater than ever, for example if there was a fire at Tollgate, the other two centres could immediately take over that role and vice versa.

“However, on a day to day basis, emergency vehicles in Staffordshire will continue to be dispatched by a dedicated team based a Tollgate who will cover the division.

“The system has been tailor made to meet the Trusts needs using the best practice from each of the Service’s legacy control systems. The developers also took on board the views of staff who used those systems after they formed a user group to look at what they wanted by way of functionality on the new system.”

Josie Black, one of the dispatchers who decides which ambulance resources to send to each case, added:

“We are looking forward to moving across to the new centre. We are committed to maintaining the very high standards that we achieve in Staffordshire. It is a big change but I am confident that we can work together to make sure that we continue to save many lives in the county.”

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