THE average response time for an ambulance to Lake Cathie is 18 minutes.
That wait will soon be greatly improved with a major announcement the Lake Cathie community will receive the first in a roll-out of new ambulance stations across New South Wales as a part of a $100 million infrastructure investment by the state government.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard made the announcement on November 13 as a part of stage 2 of the Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) program.
Of the stage 2 funding, $10 million will be allocated to construct the Lake Cathie ambulance station.
Mr Hazzard said it will be the first ambulance station for the community.
Planning will now commence to determine an appropriate location. He said within six to 12 months that site will be acquired and the planning work complete.
The new station is expected to be operational in two to three years.
"This funding boost will help NSW Ambulance deliver the most contemporary, efficient new ambulance stations to support our paramedics as they continue to deliver high quality emergency medical care to rural and regional communities," Mr Hazzard said.
"The new ambulance station for Lake Cathie will be tailored to best meet the needs of the region, and will provide local paramedics with the optimal base to work from as they continue their vital job of helping community members in their hour of need."
NSW Ambulance chief executive Dr Dominic Morgan said the extra boost to regional services was a welcome announcement for staff and local communities.
"It means our committed paramedics will be better equipped and positioned to do what they do best, help the people of NSW with top quality care when they need it most," Dr Morgan said.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the new ambulance station will be a welcome addition to the community of Lake Cathie which is a significant growth area, along with Bonny Hills, in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
Malcolm McDonald, vice president of the Lake Cathie Progress Association, said the investment is significant for the growing community.
Mr McDonald said a lot of discussion has taken place over the years to ensure emergency services facilities were a part of the future planning for the growing village.
Stage one RAIR program received $122 million, the single largest investment in regional NSW Ambulance's 125-year history, with 24 communities across the state benefiting from an upgraded, rebuilt or entirely new ambulance station.