Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

Avery quiet week for Katikati am­bu­lance crews with only 17 in­ci­dents recorded. In one 24 hour pe­riod, the crews were not dis­patched to a sin­gle call. This is most un­usual.

Six­teen of these calls were in the Katikati op­er­a­tional area and one in Tau­ranga. Thirteen pa­tients re­quired trans­port to Tau­ranga Hos­pi­tal, two were treated at home, in one call the Katikati am­bu­lance as­sisted a Tau­ranga crew, and one call was can­celled while the am­bu­lance was en route.

These in­ci­dents com­prised 11 med­i­cal calls and four trauma, with chest pains, stroke, breath­ing prob­lems, and falls pre­dom­i­nat­ing.

Tau­ranga am­bu­lance crews at­tended two calls in our area while our own crew was al­ready com­mit­ted to a pa­tient.

Anote this week about our vol­un­teer am­bu­lance of­fi­cers. It is prob­a­bly not com­mon knowl­edge that St John vol­un­teers make a huge com­mit­ment in terms of time and train­ing to at­tain the level of am­bu­lance of­fi­cer, so that they can serve their com­mu­nity.

When a vol­un­teer ini­tially joins St John they at­tend a num­ber of ob­server shifts to fa­mil­iarise them­selveswith the pro­ce­dures and the lay­out of the am­bu­lance. Next, they gain sev­eral skills, such as pa­tient han­dling, per­sonal safety and am­bu­lance driv­ing, pre­sented in mod­u­lar fash­ion, in 1-2 day ses­sions. Fi­nally, the vol­un­teer completes on­line learn­ing, then at­tends a First Re­spon­der course of four days du­ra­tion, fol­lowed by post course work, and at­tains the NZQA qual­i­fi­ca­tion of First Re­spon­der.

This skill level then has to be main­tained by for­mal clin­i­cal train­ing on sev­eral oc­ca­sions each year. Our am­bu­lance of­fi­cers are con­stantly train­ing and learn­ing.

If of­fi­cers wish to en­hance their skills fur­ther they can com­plete a two-year Emer­gency Med­i­cal Tech­ni­cian course to at­tain an Author­ity to Prac­tice at that level.

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