ESA Station Upgrade and Relocation Strategy is about preparing for the future needs of the ACT. A number of studies have been undertaken on behalf of the ESA, focusing on Ambulance and Fire & Rescue station locations. They address where these stations should be located to provide optimal coverage to the ACT community now and into the future. Current locations were not originally planned to take account of the future needs of the ACT’s population growth and demand shifts.
The selection of appropriate locations is a technical exercise, involving complex modelling based on the anticipated location of specific hazards and risks and the holistic coverage interrelationship between all locations for a service. Ambulance and Fire & Rescue services are required to meet prescribed response time targets for minimising the effects of emergency incidents; therefore one of the critical components for locating stations is travel time. Locations for each emergency service are strongly interrelated and the movement of just one location affects the overall coverage performance of all other locations. For this reason, Ambulance and Fire & Rescue services location assessments must be done at the ‘whole of ACT level’. There is little room for arbitrary relocations for individual locations or local districts.
Another of the most important parameters for determining locations of new Ambulance and Fire & Rescue stations is being sited on or very close to main arterial roads, to facilitate speedy multidirectional egress, in the endeavour to save lives, property and the environment.
Many existing facilities no longer provide the best conditions to support the operations of the services. Improved functionality and design will help to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency services operations, and their ability to respond to the needs of the Canberra community.
Implementation of the Strategy will better position the ESA to save lives, property and the environment.