Crash in rural area prompts renewed call for volunteers

The plea for volunteers in rural parts of Southland has continued, after a French tourist was hurt in a two-vehicle crash near Mossburn yesterday and had to be flown to Southland Hospital.

Emergency services were called to the crash, at the intersection of the Mossburn-Five Rivers and Acton Downs roads, about 11.15am.

St John South Island region promotions and communications coordinator Alena Lynch said a 20-year-old man with serious leg injuries was taken to Invercargill by helicopter.

An ambulance crew was not available at Lumsden - the closest to the scene - but after St John assessed the location and nature of the man's injuries, it was decided a helicopter was needed anyway, she said.

Getting enough volunteers was a continuing problem, she said.

She did not know how many people volunteered in Lumsden, but recruits were always needed throughout the region.

"An emergency can happen anywhere, at any time, and we want to be able to support the community by providing a first-class ambulance service, which we do - but we are very reliant on volunteers to do that . . . the more support we can have from the community in terms of supplying volunteers, the better," she said.

People should not be put off by thinking they needed expert medical knowledge because the organisation provided the required training.

Police inquiries into the crash are continuing. Senior constable Heather Wyllie, of Te Anau, said it appeared a van, driven by a French tourist, had rear-ended a ute, which had slowed to turn on a straight stretch of road.

The van was written off and the ute sustained minor damage, she said.

The Southland Times