'We'll reach 999 calls even faster'

Ambulances in Hull are set to reach patients even quicker when two new stations open in the city next year.

The stations will replace Hull's 50-year-old Central Ambulance Station in Osborne Street, city centre.

Work is due to begin on the two proposed sites the former Yankee Burger restaurant site in Gipsyville, west Hull, and Burma Drive, east Hull next month at a cost of £1.9m.

The city centre site is planned to close in summer 2009, with staff then expected to move into the new facilities.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is shutting the Osborne Street base because the area is earmarked for the planned Quay West extension to Princes Quay shopping centre.

Paul Mudd, assistant director of operations for YAS, said: "We are determined that the two new sites will improve response times for the people of Hull.

"The Government standard for getting to an emergency is eight minutes.

"In Hull, for life-threatening emergencies, YAS reaches 88 per cent of patients who make 999 calls within eight minutes.

"We currently exceed Government targets, but we won't be satisfied until every member of the public who calls 999 receives a timely response. It's about getting there as quickly as possible."

In addition to the two new stations, three standby points for individual ambulances will also be put in place at a cost of £75,000.

These are used as satellite locations and have temporary accommodation for staff, including toilets, and space for the ambulances.

Each new station will be home to four ambulances and two rapid response vehicles.