Ambulance crews preened in green

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:00 03/09/2014
St John Ambulance staff
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
MATERIAL ADVANTAGE: St John Ambulance staff Matt Wilkinson, left, Paul Kent-Johnston, Jo Horgan, Deb Clark and James McMeekin in their new uniforms.

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St John Ambulance staff and volunteers in Nelson have now rolled out their bottle green uniforms, and while the colour might not be everyone's cup of tea, most wearing it agree it sure beats white.

The new uniform consists of a dark green shirt, white under-shirt and dark green cargo trousers, which were given the thumbs-up by Nelson ambulance officer Jo Horgan.

"When you're doing CPR your shirt doesn't pull out."

The Nelson crew are prepared for the quips about how closely they resemble Department of Conservation staff, but the decision in the end rested with St John head office. Auckland changed to the new look in June.

St John operations director Michael Brooke said the uniform update was something staff had been requesting for some time and it was a pragmatic and cost-effective move.

"While the green is a departure from the traditional white shirt, black pants and green jacket the public has come to know and trust for medical emergencies, changes were necessary in the interests of functionality, comfort and cost - and green is the internationally recognised colour associated with medical care."

St John Nelson operations manager Matt Wilkinson said the decision was made after trials by a number of people, including the Motueka station manager who had been wearing the colour for the last 12 months. Wilkinson said not only was the colour more practical, but the material was too.

"The last shirts we had, needed to be ironed. White is not really an appropriate colour for the sort of work we do. The pocket system we have now is also a lot more practical. From my perspective it's a really good step up. It's comfortable, and fits well," he said.

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- The Nelson Mail

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