Former Christchurch stripper starts up ambulance service
A former male stripper has set up an ambulance service, prompting a warning from St John about "undesirables" entering the industry.
Shane Casbolt, 25, launched the Lifecare Event Ambulance Service Christchurch, which offers patient transport and trained medics for events.
Casbolt's colourful work history includes emergency service roles as a volunteer firefighter, surf lifesaver and first aider, and he once claimed to have been a "ghost buster".
According to his company's Facebook page, he charges $100 for patient transport, and employs medical crew who can provide advanced first aid at events for $230 a day.
St John general manager David Thomas has raised questions about Casbolt's past.
"I'm particularly concerned about some operators that have backgrounds that are undesirable."
Thomas is troubled that private ambulance operators like Casbolt may be misrepresenting themselves as event medics and ambulance services.
"We are concerned about the safety of the public and ensuring that they achieve proper clinical care."
Casbolt defended his new venture, saying the company met the required industry standards to provide first aid.
He said he had qualifications in advanced first aid and basic life support, and that he had worked for St John and other ambulance companies throughout New Zealand for "a number of years".
St John has confirmed Casbolt was a volunteer youth cadet in Motueka, but said he was never an employee.
In 2011, Casbolt's role at a crash scene in Nelson was questioned after he told a reporter he was a paramedic but he later acknowledged that he was a first-aider not a paramedic.
In the same year, Casbolt was also convicted of impersonating an officer and sentenced to community work but the penalty was later replaced with a $1300 fine.
He also has an interest in the paranormal after being arrested in a former psychiatric hospital in 2013.
When asked this week about the charges, Casbolt claimed to have been wrongfully convicted.
"That was false, still to this day I don't know where that actually came from."
However, Casbolt is still marketing his ambulance business - although he said he was yet to attend any incidents in his sign-written vehicle.
Lifecare says it has four staff members, and offers a "text a medic" service.
Online, Casbolt said the point of the service was for those who weren't sure whether to see a doctor or call an ambulance.
"This service however should only be used for minor injuries and advice . . . in the event of an emergency when you are unsure about something or a life is in danger please ring 111 immediately."
The post was deleted after media inquiries.
The number used to "text a medic" was the same number used for another of Casbolt's businesses, Dominate Christchurch Male Strippers.
The company's Facebook page showed several photos of Casbolt, one shows him taking a selfie while wearing a firefighter's outfit.
"Let's face it women love a man in uniform especially a firefighter," one of the posts said.
"Why not surprise your friend with a firefighter Stripper for their hens night. our firefighter will turn up the heat and make sure everyone has a good time as well as arriving in a first response vehicle fully equipped with lights and siren." (sic).
Casbolt later deleted the Facebook page.
He said he did not run the stripper business anymore as it got "too busy" and he did not have enough staff.
Casbolt's Nelson Animal Rescue pet ambulance service has also come to an end.
He set up the charity in 2013 to provide a pet ambulance and transport service for strays or animals in need of medical care.
When asked at the time about his qualifications, he said he had done a basic animal first aid course one evening at the Stoke Vet Clinic.
On Thursday, he said the service had been "really successful", with around 15 staff – including vet nurses.
"We were actually busier than the SPCA at that stage."
Comments on this story have been closed. Thanks to all who participated in the discussion.
- Sunday Star Times