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Community Notices

Supporting the work of Hato Hone St John

The need for the work of St John has increased on the Coromandel in recent years.
 |  Gillian Reid  | 

There is a high probability that someone in your family will need to call on our St John ambulance services. Every call is regarded as potentially life-threatening until determined otherwise, so an ambulance and crew are despatched as soon as available, to bring the best possible diagnosis, treatment, or hospital referral the situation needs.

This is made possible by a variety of means. Every ambulance in our Area is double-crewed. Namely, there is a fully trained Paramedic, and a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or First Responder-trained Volunteer, on board. The funding provided to support both the cost of running the ambulances and the critical human resources staffing them, includes govt contribution of 82% of ambulance running costs. The balance needed for St John to provide the service expected by our community, comes from money earned bySt John itself, plus availability of its volunteer resources.

The St John Shop is probably the largest contributor to the St John support work in our area, funding both the Health Shuttle, local training courses such as First Aid and Mental Health, plus maintenance work on ambulances and the station. Income from the St John Supporters’ scheme is another significant factor in the ability to maintain the services offered to the community.

Being a member:

Membership carries a double benefit. Membership of the St John Supporters’ Scheme means free ambulance assistance which includes hospital transport as well as skilled paramedic support on site.

It also contributes towards other costs born by St John, including Volunteer training to ensure both the EMT and First Response crew members are fully capable of carrying out any necessary clinical support when attending a callout. Without this income, St John would struggle to meet its commitments to callout responses.

Availability of appropriate ambulance staff is key to ensuring the right response to every call. The core of this work are the ambulance volunteers. They are financially supported through their necessary training, so they are able to provide important first-level response to calls, and other community-based activities such as information courses, free blood pressure tests, and attendance at community events. They also provide support and back-up until an ambulance arrives, as well as moving to being support crew on the ambulance itself. Equally important are the volunteer Health Shuttle drivers, who enable clinic patients to get to and from hospital without the stress of self-driving.

Becoming a volunteer in St John:

Being a St John volunteer in any of the roles St John provides to the community is critical, so that when called, St John will respond with the best available help. A rural community like ours means that the distances to be covered by callouts or hospital trips, brings both travel and clinical health pressures.

Becoming a St John volunteer is a significant contribution to the health needs of our community. The ability to respond to callouts is dependant on the availability of these people, with a real need by our growing population, to have more of them.

If you would like to know about becoming a volunteer for Hato Hone St John, either as an ambulance officer or a health shuttle driver, please email di.taylor@stjohn.org.nz.

Gillian Reid is the St John Chaplain in this region.