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St John hosts international ambulance gathering

St John media release, 12 October 2009

St John hosts gathering of international ambulance service leaders

St John is hosting two international conferences of leading ambulance service providers, from Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, in Auckland this week.

The conferences bring together leaders from principal ambulance services from around the world to share knowledge and experience on a range of key opportunities and challenges facing the ambulance sector.

Health Select Committee Chair Dr Paul Hutchison officially opens the first conference, the Council of Ambulance Authorities Rural and Remote Symposium, today at Matakana, north of Auckland. Health Minister Hon Tony Ryall officially opens the Council of Ambulance Authorities Expanding Ambulance Horizons Conference in Auckland City on Thursday 15 October.

St John Chief Executive Jaimes Wood says the conferences present opportunities for New Zealand to learn and share initiatives with colleagues from around the world.

Opportunities for the sector include integrating ambulance services more seamlessly with the wider health sector, expanding the role of ambulance officers to include home care options, and advances in medical treatment and technology.

Challenges include ensuring sufficient funding of services in the face of ever-increasing demand for ambulance services, addressing reduced health services in rural and remote communities, and managing high patient demand during emergencies and global pandemics.

“This is an exciting time for St John in New Zealand, with the recent introduction of a New Zealand Ambulance Service Strategy and new health initiatives,”Mr Wood says. “These give us opportunities to further expand our services to the community and our engagement with the health sector generally.”

Speakers include London Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Peter Bradley CBE (formerly with St John in New Zealand); Emergency Management Services Chiefs of Canada President Elect, Chief Michael Nolan; and Council of Ambulance Authorities Deputy Chair, Tony Ahern (who is also St John Ambulance Australia WA Chief Executive).

St John is hosting the conferences on behalf of the Council of Ambulance Authorities, which represents the principal ambulance providers in New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

St John provides the majority of frontline ambulance services in New Zealand, serving more than 85% of the population and more than 95% of the geography.

St John is also the lead provider of ambulance communication services in New Zealand and provides a significant range of other community services.

ENDS

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