GPS units and phones stolen
More volunteers wanted
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.