The first 999 calls for ambulances in Kent are being answered at a new centre from today.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) operators had taken 999 calls at its East Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Coxheath for 36 years.
They were temporarily moved to SECAmb’s West EOC in Crawley before starting at Gillingham this week.
Their arrival marked the final stage of the process to bring three departments together.
Ambulance crews originally based at a Make Ready Centre in Star Mill Lane, Chatham, transferred over on June 5.
Then on June 28 they were joined by 111 call staff who had been based in Mote Way, Ashford.
The Bredgar Road centre is the first in the country to bring a Make Ready Centre, EOC, and NHS 111 contact centre together under one roof.
John J O’Sullivan, SECAmb’s associate director for Integrated Care (999 & 111), said: “I’m delighted we are at the point where all three aspects of the centre will be fully functioning under the one roof.
“It is an important development for us to complete as we continue to share best practice across both our 999 and 111 functions.
“A huge number of people have been involved in making the plans a reality and I would like to than all those who have worked on such a major project.
“Our staff and, in turn, our patients, will benefit from the development and I wish my colleagues well in their new home.”
The new facility had been in the works for almost three years, having first been given the green light in August 2020.
Work on the building was completed earlier this year.
The Crispin Court building has been sold and will be vacated by December 31. It’s new use is yet to be revealed.