WIMMERA residents celebrated the opening of Nhill Ambulance Patient Transfer Station at Nhill Aerodrome on Friday.
The station – the ﬁrst in Victoria – has been about three years in the making and began operating in
Ambulance Victoria Nhill team leader Gemma McMahon said about 70 people watched Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty declare the station open.
“We also had representatives from the Rotary clubs of Nhill and Kaniva, the Nhill Ambulance Auxiliary, Hindmarsh Shire and Ambulance Victoria,” Miss McMahon said.
She said each of the groups were instrumental in transforming an idea into an important resource for the region.
“When we ﬁrst came up with the project, in the 2009-10 ﬁnancial year, 36 patients had been transferred via air ambulance,” Miss McMahon said.
“Fifteen were in a critical condition.
“That’s where we saw the need for this facility.”
Miss McMahon said the aim of the Nhill Ambulance Patient Transfer Station was to make air ambulance patients more comfortable, as well as make it easier for paramedics to tend to them.
“It means that patients are in a climate-controlled, well-lit environment where they can be stabilised and prepared for transport via air ambulance,” she said.
She said the transfer station was the ﬁrst of its kind in Victoria.
It was entirely paid for by way of community donations amounting to almost $80,000.
“That’s why Friday’s opening was so successful,” Miss McMahon said.
“It was such a huge effort from the community, and everyone is so proud of it.
She thanked everyone who had been involved in the initiative, especially the project’s manager and strong patient transfer station supporter John Hudd.
“We hope other communities and towns can now beneﬁt from the work we’ve done and hopefully build similar facilities,” Miss McMahon said.