Petition bid to save ambulance station

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A PETITION is being launched in an attempt to save a county ambulance station from closure.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) announced plans earlier this month to shut several Northamptonshire ambulance stations in a bid to cut costs and improve poor response times.

But petition organiser Dorothy Maxwell, of Higham Road, Rushden, said local people will fight against the proposals.

She said: “The whole of East Northamptonshire will not be happy with these proposals as we only have one ambulance station, in Rushden.

“I think if you do away with the stations the response times will get worse because you will have ambulances in the wrong places.

“A few years ago my neighbour died in my arms because the ambulance service didn’t get to him for 45 minutes.

“We all pay into the NHS so we should be listened to – we are going to fight vigorously to save our ambulance stations.”

EMAS is set to ditch its current model of 65 stations and replace it with a fewer number of hubs supported by smaller stations and mobile standby sites.

But Mrs Maxwell is worried about the changes.

She said: “What I’m aiming to do is to get 5,000 to 10,000 people to sign the petition, to show that we are not going to take this lying down.

“When I first moved to Rushden 25 years ago there were 10,000 residents but now there are more than 30,000.

“What happens if there’s an accident on the M1 and a few ambulances are needed?”

Mrs Maxwell plans to put the petition in local post offices for people to sign it.