Photo Essay: Watching over us

21:53, Mar 18 2012
St John Ambulance photo essay
INCOMING: Julie Corkery updates the comms centre with a patient's status on the way to Southland Hospital.
St John Ambulance photo essay
FIRST RESPONSE: Martin Patterson and Julie Corkery work on a patient in the back of an ambulance.
St John Ambulance photo essay
HANDS ON: Rubber gloves provide the perfect replacement for paper to jot down observation notes in the field.
St John Ambulance photo essay
ON STANDBY: An ambulance waits empty in the sun-lit bay at Southland Hospital after transporting a patient.
St John Ambulance photo essay
GENTLE TOUCH: Craig Jones and Linda Baxendine ready an elderly patient for transport to Southland Hospital.
St John Ambulance photo essay
EMERGENCY: The green watch ambulance crew has met a Gore ambulance crew at Edendale with a seriously ill child on board. The child is stabilised before being taken to Southland Hospital.
St John Ambulance photo essay
TIME FOR A BREAK: There's just enough time for, from left, Craig Jones, Aroha Paterson and Julie Corkery to have some food before another emergency call comes in.
St John Ambulance photo essay
FIELD MONITOR: Craig Jones checks a patient's vital signs on the way to Southland Hospital.
St John Ambulance photo essay
ON THE MOVE: Aroha Paterson is busy with a patient being transported to Southland Hospital.
St John Ambulance photo essay
CHILD'S PLAY: Linda Baxendine with some of the soft toys given to them by Lions clubs, to be handed out to younger patients. The clubs receive feedback to say who received the toy.

Southland Times chief photographer Robyn Edie spent a day and night shift with the St John Ambulance Green Watch crew at the Invercargill station.

She found it inspiring to watch them at work, dealing with the constant buzz and movement, as callout after callout came from the communications centre.

The staff showed incredible dedication and thoroughness on every call, no matter how trivial or serious.

Robyn was impressed by the compassion they showed to their patients, and their ability to to put them at ease and empathise with them in what were often difficult situations.

This group of ambulance officers hail from varied careers, backgrounds and life experiences but have found themselves drawn to the occupation  whether it be  caring for their patients amid constant challenges thrown up by each job or the fact that every day appears to be different from the last.

They also love being part of a tight-knit team, almost like a second family.

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