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Candidate Experiences Pukekohe’s Ambulance Service

National Party Candidate Experiences Pukekohe’s Ambulance Service First Hand

Andrew Bayly, National Party candidate for the Hunua seat, recently experienced what our St John Ambulance Service staff go through on a night shift.

Bayly accompanied ambulance veteran Paramedic Gary Scurr and his able Emergency Medical Technician, Ben Wood on a range of call outs over an eight hour shift from 6.00pm to 2.00am last Saturday night.

“The experience was insightful and showed just how lucky we all are when we really need help”, said Mr Bayly.

Whilst it was a ‘quiet’ night, “I experienced the skill, devotion and downright hard work these highly qualified staff go through”. Calls ranged from a toddler to an elderly visitor to Auckland, who was taken to Middlemore Hospital to undergo further tests.

At each call out, Gary and Ben went through a process of assessing the extent of illness before deciding on the ultimate course of action. In many cases the same questions were asked in different ways to validate and test the severity of the complaint. In all cases, a patient approach was adopted.

Good record-keeping provided a robust framework for decision making and helped to inform hospital staff of the patient’s condition en-route, reducing the time to start treating the injury at the hospital.

Pukekohe is well served, having one primary ambulance to attend emergencies and a second vehicle for special events, with a second 12 hour daytime crewed vehicle arriving in July. “Together with the Waiuku-based ambulance and three vehicles that will be operating out of Papakura Ambulance Station, this will significantly strengthen the level of service Franklin people can rely on”, Bayly said.

At present, it is not uncommon for either one or both ambulances from Pukekohe and Waiuku to be called away to take patients to Middlemore (and even further). “The additional resources in Pukekohe and Papakura will ensure greater all round coverage in the Franklin region”.

The more pressing issue is to ensure there is access to good volunteer staff. On the night Bayly was with the crew, Ben who is an Emergency Medical technician was the volunteer officer. Pukekohe has built a reputation for providing great training and Ben travels from West Auckland to assist the Pukekohe-based crews for this very reason. However, the downside is that many of these volunteers are promoted to the front line so there is a continuing requirement for new, suitable volunteers.

“St John’s is wonderful organisation that needs all our support”, concludes Bayly.


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