THE new Toukley Ambulance Station has cost $4.2 million, but the new facility is “600 per cent better” than the building it has replaced.
That was the view of Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, who inspected the new station on Wednesday.
“I can’t believe it,” Mr MacDonald said of the transformation.
“I was here at the old station back in April, and it was a poky and old building that really wasn’t functional.”
“The ambulances had to park one in front of the other, and the staff told me that there was flooding problems every time there was a rain event,” he said.
“To go from that, to this, takes my breath away.”
Even more remarkable, Mr MacDonald said, was that the new facility had been cleverly designed and built within the same footprint of the original station.
Construction of the new station is completed, but Health Infrastructure and NSW Ambulance will now begin the internal fit-out ahead of the operational commissioning of the station early next year.
It features covered parking for up to four ambulance vehicles, administration and office areas, a kitchen and lounge, change rooms, logistics and storage areas as well as a wash bay and staff parking.
“My initial feeling is that this is going to be a lot nicer place to work,” Mr MacDonald said. “It looks 600 per cent better.”
Acting NSW Ambulance zone manager for the Central Coast, Sue Dorahy, said she started her career at Toukley 20 years ago.
“So this whole new facility – every amenity – is exciting for me and all the paramedics,” she said.
“It’s got everything that paramedics need to do their job efficiently and professionally.”
To go from that, to this, takes my breath away.- Scot MacDonald
She said the new building showed “the great level of commitment” that NSW Ambulance had to providing high-quality mobile care to the region.
During the station construction period, the Toukley ambulances and staff have been working out of a purpose-built facility at East Toukley.
A new ambulance station is also under construction behind Wyong Hospital, at Hamlyn Terrace.
The new stations were part of the state government’s $122-million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration program, Mr MacDonald said.