Guernsey ambulance service 'saved' by emergency panel

Guernsey Ambulance and Rescue Service headquarters
Image caption St John Ambulance has operated Guernsey's ambulance service for more than 75 years

Guernsey's ambulance service has been secured for four years after an emergency panel stepped in to help.

Deputy Chief Minister Allister Langlois said the panel had met as there was "deemed to be a significant risk of a discontinuity in service".

He said the reasons for the decision could not be revealed as the panel's meetings were confidential.

It was confirmed St John Ambulance and Rescue would continue to run the ambulance service.

It will provide both emergency ambulances and patient transport services under a revised contract with the States.

A new supervisory committee, including representatives from St John and the States of Guernsey, will oversee the service but employees' terms and conditions will not be affected.

Image caption The changes are not expected to affect the service's volunteers including the inshore rescue team

Asked if the island had been at risk of being left without an ambulance service, Deputy Langlois said: "The simple fact is that we are now not in danger of not having an ambulance service in Guernsey."

The Civil Contingencies Authority, made up of four senior politicians, meets at the request of the Policy Council - the chief minister and 10 ministers.

It has the power to "address threats before they become emergencies", and to "make regulations to respond to an emergency".

The Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, is expected to provide more details of the new arrangement at the States meeting at the end of the month.

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