27 Aug 2014

Shortage of ambulance staff - volunteer

3:42 pm on 27 August 2014

A long-serving ambulance volunteer says he has quit because the workload is putting too much pressure on staff.

St John Ambulance

St John Ambulance has said it is very conscious of the challenges of rural volunteering. Photo: RNZ / Natalie Mankelow

Darryl Smith has volunteered for St John Ambulance in Fairlie, South Canterbury, for 14 years.

He quit on Monday, saying that Fairlie volunteers were being stretched to cover more areas because of a shortage of paid and volunteer staff.

"Weekend after weekend, there is no crew in Pleasant Point, there is no crew in Temuka, there is no crew in Geraldine," he said.

"There is no crew some weekends in Tekapo and some weekends in Twizel."

Mr Smith said many people at a recent national St John conference in Dunedin shared his concerns.

St John said it was very conscious of the challenges of rural volunteering, and had recently employed two new paid staff in Temuka.

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