A NEW ambulance station is good news for Tamworth, but more staff will be needed to fill the facility, the Australian Paramedics Association (APA) president believes.
President Chris Kastelan said it would need extra paramedics and vehicles to ensure demand in Tamworth is met.
"We would hope that any new announcements for staff is enhancements, so when we say new paramedics that's great, but it needs to be such that more are on the road each and every shift, we're not just filling the gaps on rosters," Mr Kastelan said.
"Just because you move to a regional area, you should expect similar levels of paramedic care and health-related care, so we hope those numbers are an enhancement as opposed to a replacement of people who are leaving."
A $6-10 million replacement for the Marius Street station was announced by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday, who said there would "almost certainly" be new vehicles and staff.
"Many regional areas are understaffed due to decade old modelling of paramedic numbers so whilst new infrastructure is great, we would like to see that coupled up," Mr Kastelan told the Leader.
"Like many areas, Tamworth has seen a growth in the population, an ageing in the population, and if last year has taught us anything, people are decentralising from metropolitan areas and making a tree change."
Mr Hazzard expects the new station to be up-and-running by 2023, or would at least be nearing completion by then.
The APA president said "if the Minister of Health is saying it should take place in two years then we would hope that would be the case".
"A two-year lead-in is a significant time and it's now up to local ambulance and infrastructure to find and build an appropriate facility for the community," Mr Kastelan said.
"I think it's fair for community expectations that a new fleet should be in place in two years if that's what the minister is saying."
He said a new facility for local ambulance staff was "well overdue".
"This will be advantageous to the local paramedics as it will give them a brand new station with new technology so that it will help them in their role as paramedics to respond to the community," he said.
The station will be built on a 'greenfield site' but the location is yet to be determined.
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