NEW premises for one of Essex’s fastest growing business were opened by John Baron MP this week.

The enlarged site for Private Ambulance Service, at the Sovereign business park, in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, multiplies by five-fold the available space for the company.

The extra space is certainly needed for an operation that, since its start just three years in July 2012, has grown to embrace a fleet of 100 vehicles. It now employs 200 people, the great proportion of them local.

Training is done in-house, using a range of hi-tech equipment.

James Barnes, managing director, said: “The site gives us the space we need to continue our process of fast-growing expansion. We’re planning to acquire 50 more vehicles over the next few months.”

The firm operates a range of contracts, ranging across NHS work, insurance jobs and private work, and repatriation – the firm has taken patient back to their homes in a number of European countries. It runs a number of specialist vehicles, including ones designed patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and fullyequipped frontline emergency vehicles.

The family run company, which also includes James’s brother, Peter (operations director), wife Nikki (marketing), father Robert, and uncle Paul, was formed as the result of a memorable family lunch.

James said: “We’d worked for other people, and seen the great potential for this business.

Sitting round the table, we decided it was time to develop our own business.”

Private Ambulance Service won the title Best Private Ambulance Service, England, at the 2015 Global Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals awards.