Dunedin's St John has more volunteers than it needs - a far
cry from the situation facing St John's regional branches.
St John has struggled to find volunteers in rural areas in
Otago and Southland, the service often calling on Dunedin for
A near-record 22 people had signed up for this month's
Dunedin intake, operations team manager Doug Third said.
The charity had 60 volunteers and 35 paid staff in Dunedin,
Of the 60 volunteers, 30 were involved with the ambulance
The 22 new recruits would begin training by mid-July and
would be operational by September.
''With the natural attrition rate there are gaps that need to
be filled, but the recruitment of 22 in July will fill this.
''We're lucky to have the population to call on.''
Because of staff shortages in rural areas, patients had been
waiting longer for some services.
Ambulances were often called from neighbouring towns and
call-outs for minor incidents further tied up ambulance
staff. In New Zealand, St John treated and transported about
400,000 people every year. Financial constraints were an
issue nationwide and the annual appeal week, held last month,
was the charity's largest fundraising activity.
Dunedin's St John sought to buy an MCI portable radio cache
for major events such as the Cadbury Dunedin Marathon, Otago
Peninsula Challenge and Otago Rally.