Schoolchildren had a special surprise visit from Santa as the bearded man in red helped celebrate the official opening of Sydney’s latest ambulance Superstation.
The Artarmon Superstation in Sydney’s north has already been busy, with paramedics responding to more than 14,800 incidents and transporting 12,000 patients since becoming operational earlier this year.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard joined NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dominic Morgan for a tour of the facility, which has capacity for 20 emergency vehicles.
“The Artarmon superstation is a first-class modern facility delivered as part of the NSW Government’s record $272 million investment in ambulance infrastructure across the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Local schoolchildren also attended the official opening and were treated to a surprise visit from Santa who handed out educational colouring books and stickers with information on what to do in an emergency.
“I encourage each and every one of you to look after yourselves this holiday period. I also want to thank all NSW paramedics for the outstanding work they do, especially those who are working during the festive season,” Ms Berejiklian said.
In the period between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day last year, paramedics responded to more than 9000 incidents.
“At a time when families gather to celebrate the festive season, we need to recognise all the emergency service workers who are away from their families doing lifesaving work,” Mr Hazzard said.
Mr Hazzard said the nine Superstations promised by the NSW Government in 2015 are now fully operational.
“We have transformed how NSW Ambulance responds to patients while delivering modern, state-of-the-art facilities so our hardworking paramedics can spend more time doing what they do best – saving lives,” Mr Hazzard said.
This year’s budget included a record investment in NSW Ambulance of more than $1 billion for 2018-19 and an unprecedented boost of 700 additional paramedics and 50 call centre staff over the next four years.