A new £2.2million ambulance station was officially opened in Aberdeen yesterday.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison, cut the ribbon at the purpose-built facility on the site of the old station which served the city for 62 years.
A total of 27 staff were based at the original premises, which cost £25,000 and was opened by Dr May Baird, chair of the North Eastern Regional Hospital Board at the time in 1954.
The new centre on Ashgrove Road West will accommodate 105 staff with seven emergency ambulances, two paramedic response units, a specialist neonatal ambulance, a Bariatric Support Vehicle – which helps tackle obesity – and 15 patient transport ambulances.
In the last year, teams at the station responded to around 24,000 emergencies and requests from GPs for urgent patient transfers to hospital, as well as routine medical calls.
Patient Transport staff undertook over 33,000 journeys, taking those with medical needs to and from hospital appointments.
Staff were involved in the design of the new building with improved laundry, sluice and vehicle cleaning facilities, new locker rooms and changing facilities, along with an area dedicated to training, skills development and eLearning.
It also incorporates the latest environmentally-friendly heating and lighting systems to increase energy efficiency.
During the construction programme, Aberdeen staff relocated to a temporary base with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on North Anderson Drive.
Ms Robison said: “I am delighted to be here to open Aberdeen’s brand new ambulance station.
“This specialist facility has been designed to the high standards expected of modern healthcare facilities and will provide a comfortable new base which local ambulance staff can work from.
“It is certainly timely we are opening this new station here today, exactly 62 years to the day from when the previous station was opened.”
David Garbutt, chairman of the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “The new station in Aberdeen provides state of the art facilities for our crews which will support their continued professional development and enhance patient care.”