'Unacceptable': Does Alstonville need an ambulance station?
A PETITION has been launched in an effort to get an ambulance station for the Plateau villages of Alstonville and Wollongbar.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith said an ambulance station for the region was "long overdue".
"Currently Alstonville and Wollongbar rely on Ballina and Lismore for their ambulance service, which means that in the best case scenario you will be waiting 15-20 minutes for an ambulance," she said.
"In some of the worst cases, people have waited upwards of 45 minutes for an ambulance.
"Seconds count when it comes to medical emergencies, especially cases of cardiac arrest where resuscitation is seen as futile after 20 minutes without effective CPR.
"Alstonville and Wollongbar have a combined population of over 8000 residents, while smaller towns like Yamba and Maclean have their own ambulance stations.
"It seems like madness to me that the state government does not see a local ambulance service for Alstonville and Wollongbar as being justified.
"The local Fire and Rescue crew do an amazing job in responding to medical emergencies, but they are not able to transport patients, which means in most cases an ambulance is still going to be called out.
"If an ambulance has to drive 20 minutes out to Alstonville or Wollongbar it also creates potentially deadly wait times for Lismore and Ballina, it's an unacceptable level of risk for such a large population."
Ms Smith has set up an online petition for residents to sign at www.tamarasmith.org.au/ambulanceforalstonville