St John has announced it will be doubling the number of full-time staff by adding four additional ambulance officers in Dannevirke.

Recruitment was recently completed and St John expects the new staff to be in place in the next few weeks.

In May, the Government announced increased funding to gradually end the single-crewing of emergency ambulances in New Zealand over the next four years.

New Zealand is the only first-world ambulance service with single-crewed ambulance responses - St John does these 100 times a day across the country.


Since the announcement, St John has been working with local communities and its people on the ground to find the best approach in each area and Dannevirke was identified as a priority site because of its high number of single-crewed responses.

"Ending single-crewing is one of the most significant developments in our ambulance service history," says chief executive Peter Bradley.

Adding additional staff in Dannevirke will ensure a clinician is available to deliver care during transport to hospital - something that couldn't be achieved with single-crewing.

It also enhances the safety and wellbeing of dedicated ambulance staff, helping to reduce fatigue, manual handling injuries and stress.

"We're very excited to be able to end single-crewing in Dannevirke. The additional staff will be good for patients in Dannevirke and the wider Tararua area.

"The introduction of the First Response Unit is another exciting initiative which will give us the ability to provide the right care at the right time while a transporting ambulance is responded. " says St John territory manager, Geoff Bates.

"Volunteers will still play a critical role in providing ambulance services in the area, working alongside the current and new staff. We need more volunteers to crew a new First Response Unit and manage peaks in demand.

"One thing that won't change is St John's charity status and we will still need the support of New Zealanders through donations and part charges for ambulance services.

"We've always worked closely with our communities and rely on the generosity of the public, both for donations and volunteers".

If Dannevirke residents are interested in volunteering, please visit or contact Geoff Bates (