Key Points:

Paramedics in the Wairarapa will take to the picket line tomorrow calling for more staff and more resources.

National Distribution Union ambulance coordinator Craig Page said the paramedics will protest outside the Masterton Ambulance station tomorrow.

He said paramedics are paid $10,000 a year less than their St John counterparts.

"We are trying to negotiate a multi employer collective agreement to bring all the paramedics in the district on to the same conditions but the DHB refuses to come to the table," Mr Page said.

He said an agreement would help retain staff and make the profession safer.

Mr Page said two ambulances cover a population of 40,000 people during working hours.

"This is critically low and because of the isolation of the area there is a real risk that if the workload were above normal, or there was a serious event, the service would not cope," Mr Page said.

The Wairarapa DHB was contacted for comment but has so far not returned phone calls.

- NZ HERALD STAFF