WEST Midlands Ambulance Service is investing £40million in 300 new state-of-the-art ambulances.
The new vehicles will, like the current ones, be based on the Fiat Ducato van and be the lightest and most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world.
The move by the trust, the only one in the country to be rated ‘outstanding’, will reaffirm its commitment to having no operational vehicles more than five years old.
The delivery of the new fleet, being converted by Bradford-based VCS, will take place over the next three years, with the first one expected to arrive in August.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust (WMAS) chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “Along with our staff, our emergency vehicles are our most important assets.
“The five-year replacement policy means our staff are able to respond in a modern, high quality, ambulance fleet that is reliable and efficient and as comfortable as possible for patients and staff.
“The vehicles come with completely new equipment on board including the latest defibrillators and monitors.
“The innovation also means we are saving money which can be reinvested into providing additional paramedics, which can only be a good thing.”
Mark Kerrigan, technical director at VCS, added: “Our research and development team has been developing innovative ways of saving weight which will bring a huge reduction in CO2 emissions and reduce fuel costs for WMAS.”
The use of aerospace-style materials will increase vehicle durability, reduce wear and tear and enhance the crash structures to improve safety, benefiting both staff and patients.