St John ambulance services fully committed over weekend

St John ambulance services at Queenstown and Wanaka were under pressure on Saturday attending emergency call-outs and covering major events involving tens of thousands of people.

Queenstown St John was called to three major incidents on Saturday afternoon:

•About 12.30pm at Wanaka, a 57-year-old female mountain biker broke her ankle in Sticky Forest, near Beacon Point.

•About 1.30pm near Frankton, a small Isuzu truck and motorcycle collided on a private road near Tuckers Beach Rd, causing serious facial injuries to the 19-year-old male motorcyclist (police inquiries are continuing).

•Later in the afternoon, Jacob Schriek (55), of Riversdale, died of a heart attack participating in the Motatapu Icebreaker mountain-bike ride between Wanaka and Arrowtown.

The woman mountain biker at Wanaka had her accident in a place that could not be reached by a vehicle.

She was carried about 30m on a stretcher by volunteers, mountain bikers and ambulance staff to the Lake District Air Rescue Trust helicopter and flown to Dunedin Hospital for further treatment.

St John district operations manager Peter Graylands said while the Queenstown paramedic attended to the Wanaka mountain biker, a Queenstown road ambulance crew was sent to the Frankton accident, where the patient was "status two".

He was transferred to Lakes District Hospital to be stabilised before the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter from Dunedin arrived to transfer the patient to Dunedin Hospital, Mr Graylands said.

The Motatapu death was dealt with by medics associated with the event and by the time St John staff received information, their presence was not required.

Wanaka police later flew to the scene to deal with matters on behalf of the coroner.

Mr Graylands praised the efforts of his crews throughout Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes district this weekend.

Two Wanaka crews were kept busy transferring patients to Dunstan Hospital on Saturday, while another volunteer crew was at the Upper Clutha A&P Show.

Queenstown crews were busy at the New Zealand Golf Open and the Cromwell ambulance crew was busy providing back up to Wanaka, Mr Graylands said.

"It was just one of those days. I didn't finish work myself until 10pm. All our crews were fully committed," he said.

He would not be able to provide a tally of jobs performed this weekend until today or tomorrow but confirmed the crews attended multiple incidents as well as treating many minor injuries at the golf and the A&P show.

"My crews did a good job on a very, very hot day. It was just one of those days, and we relied very heavily on our volunteers. We were fully stretched," Mr Graylands said.

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