GPS units and phones stolen

More vol­un­teers wanted

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

The theft of cell­phones and Nav­man GPS units from St John am­bu­lances could af­fect the speed of the ser­vice’s re­sponse.

In the past two weeks, two cell­phones and three Nav­man GPS units have been stolen from the back of Toko­roa am­bu­lances.

And one GPS has been taken from the Man­gakino St John am­bu­lance ser­vice, Toko­roa sta­tion man­ager Jenny Mariu said.

‘‘ We’re just re­ally dis­ap­pointed.’’

One cell­phone was Mariu’s per­sonal de­vice and the other was her work cell­phone.

While the in­surance ex­cess on her phone would come out of her pocket, the big­ger loss was the trust.

‘‘We think as an am­bu­lance, you’re safe.’’

Mariu said the am­bu­lances were parked in the am­bu­lance bay at the Toko­roa Hos­pi­tal when the gear was stolen. Toko­roa and Pu­taruru St John ser­vices have kicked off the first of four in­for­ma­tion ser­vices.

Toko­roa sta­tion man­ager Jenny Mariu said four peo­ple have al­ready shown in­ter­est.

She said some­times there is no time to lock the am­bu­lances or se­cure the equip­ment. ‘‘Pa­tients come first.’’ Vol­un­teer John Tay­lor said the GPS units are vi­tal to their job.

‘‘ We get sent out to Man­gakino and we do trips to Hamil­ton, some­times we get di­verted to Mata­mata, if you don’t have a Nav­man it takes time to look up the maps.’’

While he re­sides in Toko­roa, some of the ar­eas are still

One in­for­ma­tion was held in Pu­taruru and the two cen­tres will al­ter­nate through­out the year.

If you are in­ter­ested call the Toko­roa sta­tion on 886 8073. un­fa­mil­iar. The Nav­mans have not been re­placed and the staff are us­ing older units which were stored away.

The in­ci­dents have sparked the pos­si­bil­ity of another se­cu­rity cam­era at the hos­pi­tal.

‘‘We are go­ing to in­ves­ti­gate whether we can add one,’’ hos­pi­tal man­ager Joanne Knight said.

She said am­bu­lance staff could pre­vent more thefts by lock­ing gear away, de­spite it be­ing a ‘‘nui­sance.’’

DIS­AP­POINTED: Toko­roa St John staff Julie Cathie, left, Jenny Mariu and John Tay­lor are shocked by the theft of GPS sys­tems and phones from the back of am­bu­lances.

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