A generous gesture from New Plymouth's Pakeke Lions Club has provided St John ambulance staff with a vital equipment upgrade.
The club donated $9500 to the New Plymouth service allowing it to buy four new Combi-Carriers.
The stretchers split in half and are particularly good for carrying patients with spinal injuries, as well as for general rescue and carrying jobs.
Patients can be strapped on to the board in difficult terrain and they can carry a weight of 205kg.
District operations manager Ian May said the new equipment was invaluable and would replace the service's old steel scoop stretchers.
"It is a frequently used piece of medical kit, and has a quick strapping system," Mr May said.
"Given we did 1955 falls/back injuries in the last 12-months in Taranaki, with just over 1000 being emergency calls, it gives an indication of the value of this piece of gear."
Club president Jack Hawkes said members were unanimous in their decision to choose St John as the recipient of its 2012 major donation.
"They've had some major changes recently and their workload has expanded," Mr Hawkes said.
He said the money raised by the club came from the local community and they were pleased to use it in a way that would benefit the community.
"This is our way of giving it back to a worthy cause. We think that it is only fit and right and proper that we put the bulk back into one major project," Mr Hawkes said.
- Taranaki Daily News
The lower drink-driving limits from December are:Related story: Drink-drive limits lowered