Seven new ‘15 plate’ ambulances are being introduced across Derbyshire as part of a major investment by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).
The new vehicles are part of a year-five investment programme to help improve the age profile and increase the number of vehicles out on the road. The first phase will see a total of 29 vehicles introduced across the East Midlands, with seven being delivered to Derbyshire.
Steve Farnsworth, Head of Fleet said: “A significant amount of time and effort has gone into making sure these vehicles are the best they can be. “Frontline colleagues have provided feedback on our previous models which has been instrumental in the design changes on our 15 plate range.
“A lot of attention has been given to the durability of the vehicles. At the end of their shift, our crews go home and rest before their next shift; that’s not the same for our vehicles, with the majority being out on the road 24/7.
“Our ambulances cover hundreds of miles every day and get a lot of wear and tear which is why it is so important that they are fit for purpose and safe for our staff and patients.”
The ambulances are Fiat Ducato’s that have been specially reinforced with an upgraded braking system and improved torque to prolong gear box and clutch life. Enhanced emergency lighting for both staff and patient safety has also been installed.
Inside the vehicles, EMAS has invested in the latest technology including a new mobile data system called Terrafix which has an integrated satellite navigation and will assist crews with getting to emergencies as quickly as possible.
“Our crews provide treatment and care in our emergency ambulances at the scene of incidents” added Steve. “They are mobile healthcare units manned by skilled clinicians carrying the latest lifesaving equipment.”
The new vehicles coincide with a commitment from EMAS trust board to recruit an additional 200 frontline staff by 2016.
Two of the ambulances will be based in Chesterfield, with a third based at Alfreton.