St John responds to community
- By Julia Wade
A vital emergency crew responding to a recent call-out of a different kind – remedying questions regarding distribution of funds and mode of operations – has been well received by the Mangawhai community.
St John Mangawhai station manager, Andrew Mumford, arranged a community Open Evening on October 24 after discussion, conjecture, and expressions of support for the organisation had been circulating on social media.
Mumford says the online talk raised some important issues which he was keen to address.
“We’ve had good feedback from the community,” he says. “Both on the actual night and since the meeting, it’s been really positive.”
In answer to speculation about distribution of funds, generally in relation to Mangawhai’s St John Opportunity shop, Mumford affirmed that the vast bulk of the money raised in Mangawhai, stays in Mangawhai.
“The Op Shop and other fundraising, including donations and the Supporters Scheme is critical to the operation of ambulances. Funds raised at the shop have been used in this area to build the Ambulance Station and provide equipment and training resources,” he says.
“In the future, as we generate more funds, we intend to direct our focus to wider community health needs.”
However, in response to queries whether Mangawhai station could be manned full-time with paid staff, Mumford says the costs would be too high, and that the numbers just don’t stack up.
Questions were also asked about emergency response times and the availability of Mangawhai’s services as crews from other areas often respond to local call-outs.
“We are never without coverage in the area,” Mumford says. “Mangawhai Ambulance Station is crewed by 20 local volunteers, we have shifts covered both on roster and on call and are well supported by crews from other areas, in particular from Maungaturoto and Bream Bay.”
He says the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive depends on a range of factors including the volume and priority of incidents and the number of resources available.
“For time critical incidents, where an ambulance is not immediately available, we have the ability to respond with local GP’s, the Fire Service, and other community resources,” he says.
“We do the best we can with the resources we have at the time. In essence, we will be there when you need us.”
n More volunteers means more coverage. If anyone is interested in volunteering they can contact Andrew directly on 021 689 587 or firstname.lastname@example.org
St John Opportunity Shop manager Francis Kennelly, youth divisional manager Anastasia Tinsel, chairman of the Bream Bay Area Committee Bart de Ruiter and station manager Andrew Mumford. “We’re incredibly lucky with the station,” he says. “It’s the jewel of the north.”