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The West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) is the second-largest ambulance service in the UK. It is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.
It is one of 12 Ambulance Trusts providing England with Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service, receiving direct government funding for its role. There is no charge to patients for use of the service
WMAS is one of the highest performing ambulance services in England and was one of only two to exceed all of its national performance targets in 2006-07. WMAS employs around 4,500 staff and is supported by about 1,000 volunteers, over 63 sites, and makes over 450,000 emergency responses every year.
The trust was formed on July 1, 2006, following the merger of the Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Coventry & Warwickshire Ambulance NHS Trust, and WMAS and Shropshire services.
West Midlands Ambulance Service became a Foundation Trust on 1 January 2013. <refhttp://www.wmas.nhs.uk/trust_members.aspx#></ref>
Following the merger of the trusts, WMAS inherited a number of standalone control rooms. This resulted in 5 EOCs spread across the region operating independently using varying levels of technology at the following sites:
On 28 November 2007, the Trust agreed to go ahead with proposals for the reconfiguration of its Emergency Operations Centres, despite vocal protests from the public. WMAS now only operates from 2 EOCs based at: Millenium Point, Brierley Hill (Trust HQ) Tollgate Drive, Stafford
The trust also operates a virtual EOC so waiting calls at either of the Trusts 2 EOCs can be answered by either EOC even if the call isn't designated to that control, increasing the speed response vehicles can be dispatched
There is an air ambulance charity serving the WMAS service community, called the Midlands Air Ambulance.
The Midlands Air Ambulance has three daylight air ambulance helicopters covering the 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2) of the Midlands region, based at RAF Cosford (nr Wolverhampton), Tattenhill Airport and at Strensham services.
The trust has over 400 vehicles, including patient transport services vehicles, rapid response vehicles, motorcycle response units, and of course ambulance crews.
In times of emergency, WMAS also requests assistance from voluntary ambulance providers, such as St John Ambulance. St John Ambulance (SJA) also provides 'A&E Support' crews at times when there is a high level of staff absence or there is an unusually high call volume. This arrangement sees SJA crews attending Emergency or Non-Emergency calls. SJA crews may treat and transport certain categories of patient, although they are expected to ask for further assistance for more serious patients.
West Midlands Ambulance Service are supported by several BASICS-affiliated charities, who provide volunteer doctors and nurses to support the regular ambulance service staff at more serious incidents.
In 2011, a new system was announced for the operations of ambulance services in Herefordshire, whereby Hereford would serve as the 24-hour "hub" where all vehicles would be serviced, maintained and held before all shifts. Stations include:
Stations include: Shrewsbury
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