St John signals return to central city

Last updated 05:00 06/08/2014

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St John is overhauling its operational model in Christchurch as part of a $7.7 million property and rebuild plan.

The ambulance and first aid service yesterday officially opened its renovated Durham St headquarters.

The opening signalled its return to the central city for the first time since the February 2011 earthquake.

From 2017, its offices will be located in the Government's justice and emergency services precinct. Ambulance operations will move to a "hub and spoke" model, where a central ambulance station is located close to the Christchurch Hospital emergency department and satellite stations are in residential areas.

Graham Gillespie, the chairman of St John in Christchurch, said a location for the central hub was being sought but would need to be within 3 kilometres of the hospital.

The satellite stations will be in Redwood, Waltham/St Martins, Sockburn/Wigram, Addington, Wainoni, Bealey Avenue, Ilam and Burwood.

"What these posts look like will vary depending on the location; they could be a standalone station, part of a medical facility, co-located with other emergency services or a council service centre," Gillespie said.

"These posts will change over time as we remain flexible and shift our services to continue to meet the needs of a changing and growing city."

The new strategy was about "ensuring we are closer to patients and their homes and continue to be able to respond and care for our community in their time of need", he said.

Repairs and upgrading of St John's New Brighton training rooms at Rawhiti Domain are expected to be completed next month.

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- The Press

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