|The Rushden Echo, 22nd June 1973, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Ambulance Depot Fears ‘Nonsense’
Rumours that Rushden ambulance station is to close down have been crushed by the county’s deputy ambulance officer. Mr. Matt Devereux said that fears that the ambulances and their crews would be moving out of the Station Road depot were “absolute nonsense.” Mr. Devereux was unable to say if there would be any changes at the Rushden station in the near future.
“The ambulance service is under general review, but there has been nothing concrete agreed upon in relation to any station at the moment,” he said. “No decision has been taken for the immediate future.” He could not say when a decision would be made.
Almost two years ago Mr. Harry Bailey, county councillor for Higham Ferrers, fought plans to cut down on the services at the Rushden Station. Mr. Bailey, of 9 York Road, Higham Ferrers, said he had heard of no new developments but would make a check to find out. “I believe we ought to have ambulance facilities at Rushden. The A6 is a dangerous road almost every day there is an accident of one sort or another on it. Rushden is nearest to it,” said Mr. Bailey.
Dr. Paul Wix, a member of the new county council, who lives on the A6 on the outskirts of Rushden, said he had heard the Rushden facilities ARE to be curtailed.
At present the station is unmanned overnight, but the Rushden ambulance men remain on call.
Dr. Wix understands that in the not too distant future the Rushden night service is to be scrapped. Instead Wellingborough will cover the area with two night crews on duty one from Rushden. He said people are afraid that this will only be the thin end of the wedge.
“I am very disturbed if what I have heard is correct,” said Dr. Wix. “If they have worked out the timing of this and they are completely satisfied, then let them move to Wellingborough. But if it is being done to save money when minutes can save lives, then I am against it. The timing may be marginal in good weather, but you can’t always guarantee crashes in good weather.”
Mr. Arthur Colton county council chairman said the rumours were news to him, and the issue had not yet been raised before the county council or its health committee. But he did say there was soon to be a special meeting to discuss ambulance drivers’ hours by the nationwide County Council Association health committee, of which he is chairman.