New ambulance station to provide quicker response times
A YOUNG widow hopes the new $5.9 million ambulance station in Pottsville will ensure other families won't endure the same pain she went through when her husband died last year.
Rebecca (Bec) Tate's husband James, 31, died six days after he suffered a massive heart attack on January 21, 2017.
Ms Tate, who works as a registered nurse in the cardiac unit of Tweed Hospital, said they had to wait up to 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at their home after he went into cardiac arrest.
"It's life or death, every minute is brain tissue decaying, every minute they're gone decreases the likelihood (of surviving) by a huge amount, something like 70 per cent,” she said.
"(A new station) won't only give the community reassurance but it will also decrease the mortality rate and hopefully take the strain off the paramedic stations up the coast. It's going to increase the response times and availability.”
Tweed MP Geoff Provest joined Ms Tate on Tuesday to turn the first sod at the new ambulance site.
The new site at 1128 Pottsville Rd, between the first entrance to the Seabreeze Estate and Coronation Drive, was specifically chosen for ease of access to both Tweed Coast Road and the motorway.
Mr Provest said the site would accommodate four new paramedics and two vehicles.
"What Health Infrastructure was saying to me earlier is that it's one thing to build health facilities, whether they're ambulance (stations) or hospitals, but it's another thing to sit back and think about the people's lives that they affect,” Mr Provest said.
"I think the people of the Tweed deserve first-class medical facilities.”
Pottsville Community Association president Penny Hockings said the community was excited to have better access to health care services.
"This is a fantastic thing for the Pottsville community and I think it is going to make a difference to the healthcare for what is the further away area of the Tweed here in Pottsville,” Ms Hockings said.
Hutchinson Builders were awarded the tender for the new station in August and will start construction in the coming months.