A PRIVATE hire firm in Otley has won a contract to support Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Patient Transport Service.

The agreement means that Fusion Otley Private Hire will be helping, when needed and while following strict infection control procedures, to take patients to or from hospital appointments.

It has been awarded after a lot of hard work behind the scenes which included completing a 120 page application form and a five hour governance check.

Fusion Otley Private Hire’s owner Anwar Ghani, better known as Arni, said: “The awarding of the contract is massive for a small company like ours, it shows that we are doing things right.

“We would like to thank our lovely customers, who have supported us, and Team Fusion who have put the effort in and helped us get this far.

“We look forward to a long working relationship with Yorkshire Ambulance Service and would like to thank them for this opportunity.

“In order to get awarded the contract we had to through a lot of due diligence which we passed with flying colours.

“As we will be transporting some seriously ill patients one of the requirements is strict infection control, which is high on the requirements of the contract. We were strictly adhering to this even before the coronavirus outbreak and are doing so even more so now.”

The contract comes on the back of wider success for the private hire firm which has expanded rapidly since Mr Ghani - who also runs the Fusion GameXchange video games and mobile phone shop in Otley - took it on a couple of years ago.

He said: “When we took over Otley Private Hire we decided to rebrand to a name familiar to Otley for ten years - Fusion GameXchange.

“We invested in a very comprehensive booking system which included a text back and taxi tracking service, free, for every customer which went down really well.

“We started with one car when we took over and expanded to 25 cars, just before lockdown, in under 18 months - all built by word of mouth, having an online presence on Facebook and acquiring nearly 500, five-star Google reviews.

“This rapid success has meant we are able to serve the areas around Otley such as Pool-in-Wharfedale, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Yeadon, Guiseley and Leeds Bradford Airport.”

Reflecting on what has helped both of his local ventures succeed, he added: “We are family run businesses and rely very much on friends and family to help out. We have all become a family known as Team Fusion and if I need to be at the shop there’s someone else at the taxi office, and vice versa.

“It has been difficult at times balancing both businesses and a lot of sacrifices have been made but it’s worth it when you see a five star review and people are happy.

“We have always believed that if you look after people first the money will follow so we encourage everyone to put the customer first.”