Timaru $7000 away from a new yellow ambulance

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014
mike kelly
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

ALMOST REALITY: St John's Waitaki operations manager Mike Kelly with an image of the new ambulances being rolled out across the country.

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St John Timaru is $7000 short of adding a new yellow ambulance to its fleet.

The community gave more than $11,000 to the Timaru branch of St John during its annual appeal. That money, along with other donations, still leaves the branch $7000 short of securing one of the new yellow ambulances, which are being rolled out around the country.

Ten people agreed to help St John Timaru with its appeal this year, taking part in an "ambulance challenge". Their assistance involved going on a shift with a Timaru St John crew to witness their work in the community. Participants also fundraised for the appeal online.

The concept was a nationwide initiative. Forty participants raised $95,000 throughout the South Island.

St John fundraising manager for the South Island Debbie Pipson said the Timaru event had been a great success, resulting in a lot of positive feedback from those involved.

"Thanks to you all, we have raised $11,163 in Timaru, and I am pleased to announce this money will go towards a brand new ambulance (one of the new yellow ones) that will be based in Timaru," she said.

"Over the next few years St John [is] replacing all of the white ambulances with this new look."

She said the yellow ambulances were more visible and had proven to be in fewer crashes.

"Each will cost $168,000 so it will take a few years to replace the fleet [in Timaru]. With donations already received and the $11,000 from the challenge [the branch is] only $7000 off ordering their new vehicle." Exactly when that would happen was anyone's guess, Pipson said.

"It will be a case of when the funding has been found."

There are 12 of the yellow ambulances now working in the South Island.

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- The Timaru Herald

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