THREE Horsham paramedics were recognised for their outstanding service to the community as the city's new ambulance station was officially opened yesterday.
State Health Minister David Davis opened the station and presented long-service awards to Roger Murray, Trevor Lehmann and Brian Campbell.
The new state-of-the-art station features five individual rest rooms, a large staff recreation room and private outdoor area, training and meeting room, separate female and male toilets and a garage to accommodate eight ambulances.
The old station was riddled with termites and female paramedics were forced to get changed in the toilets.
Mr Lehmann said the new facility was spacious and had the appropriate training facilities for staff.
Mr Lehmann received a 30-year long service medal and a 25-year national medal for service.
"From what we have come from, to this, is amazing," he said.
"It is catering for the future and is just so far ahead of where we were."
Mr Lehmann said he was grateful for the friendships he had formed with ambulance community officers, community emergency response teams and volunteers during his 31 years working at Horsham.
"It is great to have that camaraderie with colleagues," he said.
Mr Murray received a 25-year long service medal and 25-year safe driving medal.
He said the new station was fantastic and somewhere he felt privileged to work.
"When people come in here I feel quite proud to open the door," he said.
"It is great to be highly-regarded in the community we work.
"I walk down the street and feel pride in what we do."
Mr Campbell, who retired in July, received a 35-year long service medal and 35-year safe driving medal.
He also received a plaque and an Ambulance Victoria life membership certificate.
Mr Davis said it was important to recognise the men's achievements and the difficult circumstances they worked under.
He said the paramedics and community had waited for a new station for a long time.
"I saw the old ambulance station before we found the additional money to build this station," Mr Davis said.
"This is a magnificent station which will allow growth in the service provision for the future."
Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty said the new facility would help to attract and retain staff and would be a great benefit to the community.
"I know of people who are training to become paramedics who are hoping they can work at this facility," he said.
"It is a great outcome for Horsham and the region."
The Horsham station will also become one of 10 in regional cities to receive a MICA single responder unit, which will help achieve better clinical outcomes for patients.
The MICA unit is due to commence operation in April-May next year.