EMAS petition gets backing of council

An ambulance carried the patient to hospital after fire crews carried the patient from the boat
An ambulance carried the patient to hospital after fire crews carried the patient from the boat

A petition with more than 3,700 signatures on it calling for better ambulance response times in the Market Rasen and Caistor area has been presented.

Spearheaded by Guy Grainger, the petition has been pulled together over the past six months after East Midlands Ambulance Service revealed it was considering closing Market Rasen Ambulance Station, along with numerous others in Lincolnshire, and replacing it with a community hub for crews to stop off at for refreshments only.

As well as calls to maintain the town’s station, the petition aims to secure two ambulances on standby in the LN7 and LN8 postcode areas at all times.

Guy Grainger, of King Street, Market Rasen, presented the petition to a full meeting of Lincolnshire County Council on Friday, May 16.

Following the presentation and a debate Lincolnshire County Council passed a motion stating that: “The council support the concerns expressed by the residents in Market Rasen and Horncastle area about ambulance response times and refers the petition to East Midlands Ambulance Service for its consideration.”

After the meeting, Mr Grainger told the Rasen Mail: “I am very pleased that a motion of support for was passed unanimously by a united county council.

“It is absolutely clear that the county council as a whole recognises the importance of this issue.”

During the council’s debate triggered by the petition, the Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee Councillor Christine Talbot informed members that EMAS will attend her committee meeting today, Wednesday May 21, to explain why the response times set by the Government are still not being met in Lincolnshire.

Mr Grainger added: “I am sure that this meeting will further increase the pressure on EMAS to take action enabling the Market Rasen and Horncastle areas to have the ambulance service they need.

“I believe that the petition has already had considerable influence by playing a role in the EMAS’ decision to suspend the closure of the Market Rasen ambulance station earlier this year.”

EMAS said its response times in the early part of 2014 have seen a marked improvement.