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South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Area: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset
Founded: July 2006
Population: 2.5 million
Size: 11,235 square miles
Staff: 2000+
Chief Executive (Chief Ambulance Officer): Ken Wenman
Stations: 65
HQ: Exeter

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SWAST) is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in the English counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. The trust was created in July 2006 as a result of the merger of the Westcountry and Dorset ambulance services.

It is one of twelve Ambulance Trusts providing England with Emergency medical services, and is part of the National Health Service, receiving direct government funding for its role. Under the Patient's charter, every person in the United Kingdom has the right to the attendance of an ambulance in an emergency. There is no charge to patients for use of the service, although costs will be recovered and paid to the ambulance trust in cases of personal injury through the NHS Injury Cost Recovery scheme.[1]


Divisions & Stations

The trust is split into two divisions:

West Division - Devon and Cornwall including West Divisional HQ, 999 and PTS Control at Exeter. (999 control covering Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, PTS Devon and Cornwall).

East Division- Somerset and Dorset including East Divisional HQ, 999 and PTS Control at Ringwood. (999 control covering Dorset, PTS Dorset and Somerset).

The Trust has 65 ambulance stations among the four counties that it serves:





Facts and figures

The Trust is one of the largest of the new trusts formed in England in 2006. Within this, it covers 20,231 miles (32,559 km) of road and 827 miles (1,331 km) of coastline. In a year, over 250,000 Emergency and Urgent calls are received and dealt with.

The Trust provides ambulance services for the Strategic Health Authority NHS South West. In addition the Trust works with the following Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) for ambulance matters:

Primary Care Trusts


  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly


  • Devon
  • Plymouth Teaching
  • Torbay


  • Somerset


  • Bournemouth and Poole
  • Dorset[2]

Rank structure

The rank structure of South Western Ambulance Service is as follows:

  • One Pip - Assistant Resilience Officer (Band 4)
  • Two Pips - Promis (Duty Roster PC Application) Manager & Community Engagenment Officer (Band 5)
  • Three Pips - Community Engagement Manager (Devon), PTS Managers and Clinical Support Officers (Band 6 & 7)
  • Crown - Operational Locality Managers and Resilience Officers (Band 8a)
  • Pip and Crown - Resilience Manager (Band 8b)
  • Caduceus - Operations Manager (Band 8c)
  • Caduceus and Pip - Head of Operations
  • Caduceus and Crown - Operations Director
  • Caduceus, Pip and Crown - Chief Executive


South Western Ambulance Service Vehicle
  • A&E vehicles - 194 (not including Movano vehicles removed from service in 2007)
  • PTS vehicles - 118
  • RRV cars - 86
  • RRV motorcycles - 7
  • Pool cars - 28
  • Other vehicles - 59
  • Air ambulances - 4
  • Air bases - 4[2]
  • Boats - 1

Air ambulances

The South Western Ambulance Service have access to the following air ambulances.

Fire Service Co-Responders

Cornwall Fire And Rescue Service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service all work in partnership with South Western Ambulance service to provide emergency medical cover to particular areas of the Trust. These areas, often rural, have been identified as having a greater need for ambulance cover. Many of these areas do not have a local ambulance station. The aim of a co-responder teams is to preserve life until the arrival of either a Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) or an ambulance. Co-responder vehicles are equipped with oxygen and automated external defibrillator (AED) equipment supplied by South Western Ambulance Service.[3]


Cornwall Fire And Rescue Service stations

The 3 stations that run as co-responders:

  • Helston
  • Mullion
  • St. Keverne
Emergency Response Unit (Co-responder vehicle)

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service stations

As of May 2008, Co-responder stations are getting a dedicated vehicle for Co-responder calls. The new vehicle known as the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), replaces the fire appliance from going, providing there are enough crew still on duty to allow the fire appliance to remain available.

The 20 stations that run as co-responders:

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service

The 2 stations that run as co-responders:[4]

  • Lyme Regis
  • Beaminster

See also


External links


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