Otago Daily Times
Emergency vehicle fleet grows
ST John’s new Wanaka first response vehicle will mean faster response times and better health outcomes for patients in the area, the organisation says.
Central Otago territory manager David Baillie said the new vehicle was designed for volunteer crews to be able to quickly locate and assess patients, and transport them locally or to meet a helicopter or transporting ambulance.
‘‘This will ultimately shorten job cycles, enable crews to remain in the local community and be available to respond to emergencies more often,’’ he said.
The unit has been described as smaller and nimbler than a traditional ambulance, and ideal for the narrow roads and difficult terrain often found in rural environments.
It is based on the Volkswagen Transporter T6 ambulance, which is used as a frontline ambulance throughout Europe.
It carries all the equipment found in a traditional ambulance, including a first response kit, defibrillator, resuscitation equipment, lifting and extraction gear, oxygen set and personal protection gear.
Mr Baillie said Wanaka’s first response unit was part of changes to St John’s service delivery model as it entered the fourth and final year of its doublecrewing project.
Apart from the new vehicle, Wanaka’s St John fleet also had a frontline ambulance and a fourwheel drive ambulance.