An am­bu­lance 2DRESQ!

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

The Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion has come

“2DRESQ” (to the res­cue) of St John Katikati, do­nat­ing a new am­bu­lance to the area.

The am­bu­lance will be on the roads ser­vic­ing Katikati and the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity after it was ded­i­cated at a cer­e­mony on Fri­day.

The Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion has funded the full

$216,000 cost of the am­bu­lance, and also sup­plied a per­son­alised plate for it —


The am­bu­lance is named “Benny”, named after Hi­bis­cus Coast boy Benny McSweeney, whose life was saved by St John after he fell into a freez­ing pond when he was 20 months old at the Auck­land Do­main. Benny is now a happy and healthy 12 year old and was at Fri­day’s event.

Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Chloe Wright, who lives in O¯ moko­roa, was in­spired to do­nate an am­bu­lance after read­ing Benny’s story in a let­ter from St John.

“I see Benny as ev­ery­one’s child. We are all vul­ner­a­ble — ev­ery­one at some time has a con­nec­tion to some­one who needs an am­bu­lance, and we are so for­tu­nate to have this ser­vice avail­able to us,” said Chloe.

“St John does an in­cred­i­ble job and we are so grate­ful for their ser­vice, sav­ing the lives of peo­ple like Benny ev­ery day.”

Benny’s mother Ly­dia McSweeney said the fam­ily is for­ever grate­ful to St John for sav­ing Benny’s life, and is hon­oured to have an am­bu­lance named after their son.

St John Ter­ri­tory Man­ager Ross Clarke said the am­bu­lance has an im­proved in­te­rior de­sign based on feed­back from am­bu­lance of­fi­cers, al­low­ing staff to re­main seated while treat­ing pa­tients. The am­bu­lance comes with a Pow­erLoad Stryker Stretcher mak­ing lift­ing and trans­port­ing pa­tients eas­ier, im­prov­ing safety for pa­tients and am­bu­lance of­fi­cers e.

“Do­na­tions like this are es­sen­tial to St John meet­ing the grow­ing de­mand on am­bu­lance ser­vices as we con­stantly strive to im­prove the qual­ity and eq­uity of our ser­vices,” he said.

“As a char­ity, St John needs sup­port from the com­mu­nity, and this gen­er­ous do­na­tion from the Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion means both Katikati and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties will have the best pos­si­ble care avail­able to them.”

As an Omoko­roa ¯ res­i­dent, Chloe is con­cerned about the road be­tween Tau­ranga and Katikati, back­ing calls for it to be widened to four lanes with a me­dian bar­rier to curb its mount­ing death toll. In the last eight years, 24 peo­ple have died on this road.

“St John is quite lit­er­ally the am­bu­lance at the bot­tom of the cliff, and un­for­tu­nately we need them even more due to the state of this road. Ev­ery time I see or hear an am­bu­lance I call all my fam­ily mem­bers who live in the area to make sure they are okay,” she said. “St John does a won­der­ful job and we be­lieve the ser­vice should be fully funded by the Govern­ment.”

The Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion is a reg­is­tered char­i­ta­ble trust ded­i­cated to mak­ing a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence by ‘grow­ing the good’ in New Zealand com­mu­ni­ties by sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion and health ini­tia­tives.

Wright Fam­ily Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Chloe Wright and board mem­ber Sa­muel Wright, with Benny McSweeney, 12 (cen­tre), whose story in­spired do­na­tion of an am­bu­lance to St John Katikati.

St John Katikati am­bu­lance of­fi­cers with the new am­bu­lance.

The per­son­alised plate says it all — ‘to the res­cue’.

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