Emergency services hub mooted for Napier

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 05:00 28/03/2014

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Ambulances will reach inner-city emergencies faster if a proposed emergency hub for Napier goes ahead.

Bringing some of the city's fire, ambulance and police staff under one roof is being investigated by the organisations.

The "purpose-built" emergency hub was being mooted to replace the existing fire station in Taradale Rd which needed further earthquake strengthening, Fire Service Hawke's Bay area commander Chris Nicoll said.

He approached police about the idea, as they too needed to strengthen their Napier station.

St John could at times re-deploy one of the three ambulances from Greenmeadows to Taradale Rd, minutes from the inner city, Hawke's Bay operations manager Stephen Smith said.

Responses into the central business district and Ahuriri would be a lot quicker, Mr Smith said.

Police confirmed they were involved in the discussion.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he "was right behind" the concept if it improved the efficiency of emergency services.

However, it would be "absolutely unacceptable" if it meant Napier could be left without a manned police station in the central business district.

Police refused to discuss their plans. Eastern district communications manager Kris McGehan said: "We won't be drawn into any dialogue about this as it is still very much in the embryo stage."

Before plans could progress, the land needed to be deemed suitable for building on.

Mr Nicoll was awaiting the outcome of a geo-technical report on the hectare of fire service-owned land, which had been identified at risk of liquefaction.

He hoped that building could begin next year, if it got the green light.

There was not yet a "Plan B" if the land was not up to standard.

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- The Dominion Post

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