Thousands join fight to save town station

EMAS debate
EMAS debate

In just 10 days a staggering 2,400 people have signed a petition demanding Market Rasen ambulance does not close.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) wants to shut the station early in the new year and move all staff to Gainsborough - more than 20 miles 

But thousands of worried residents are fighting the 

A petition demands Market Rasen Ambulance Station is kept open and a minimum of two ambulances are based there, with standby locations in the LN7 and LN8 postcode areas.

Petition organiser Guy Grainger said: “There has been a clear community response - that Market Rasen Ambulance Station should remain open.”

Mr Grainger said the next step was to put pressure on EMAS to give details of how it will provide a proper level of cover.

He said: “EMAS as an organisation could be close to meltdown.

“The chairman and chief operating officer have both resigned in the last four weeks and a number of administrative policies have been frozen.

“The case for a full external investigation of EMAS is now overwhelming.

“The best way forward is probably for EMAS to be taken in special measures resulting in the appointment of a new senior management team drawn from other successful NHS ambulance trusts - and a complete overhaul of the way in which our ambulance service is 

A Rasen Mail source last month revealed how all 10 ambulance staff based at Market Rasen fear the closure of the station will put lives at risk.

They are in emergency talks with unions and due to meet EMAS bosses later this month.

The controversial plan, called the Being the Best change programme, was drawn up to address shocking response times which left EMAS as the worst performing ambulance service in the country in 2012.

EMAS, which is describing the closure as a ‘twinning’, believes the changes will improve response times to emergency 999 calls.

And it says its Market Rasen station would not close until there was a ‘community ambulance station’ in place - but this is only somewhere crews can stop for a rest and meal break.

An EMAS spokesman said: “The aim of Being the Best is to provide a better service for patients by improving clinical standards and performance, and providing better facilities, communications, engagement and support for frontline colleagues.”