Late protest against ambulance plans
FURIOUS protesters have appealed to ambulance bosses to reconsider radical plans ahead of their possible approval on Monday.
More than 30 people, including paramedics and other staff, turned out to protest at the plans at an Amber Valley Borough Council scrutiny committee meeting at Ripley Town Hall last night.
East Midlands Ambulance Service is proposing to create one hub in Derby, at Raynesway, three stations at Chesterfield, High Peak and Ashbourne and 25 community ambulance stations, or posts, across the county.
The station closures were part of bigger proposals, changing the way the trust operates and also because it would cost £13 million to bring some of the region's stations up to "NHS standards".
But Mark Hill, a paramedic based in Alfreton, said the plans had ignored Amber Valley.
He said: "Ripley, Alfreton, Belper and Matlock stations are going to close. Amber Valley gets nothing. A better situation would have been to have Ripley as a hub station."
Peter Ripley, EMAS director of operations, presented the plans to the committee and said the service had taken the criticisms on board.
He said: "The level of ambulance cover in the region will remain the same. We will be organising staggered shift patterns for staff to ensure this."