St John Rotorua's new territory manager says it's a privilege to be able to help people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Steve Lynch was previously the territory manager for Taupo, but now is covering a bigger area.

"I'm the new tertiary manager for the Lakes area which includes Rotorua and Taupo and Reporoa, Murapara and Turangi.

"Previously the Lakes, which was Rotorua, was one territory and Taupo, which is a different territory, so we have had a structural change of middle management and that's really just a natural evolution to meet the demands of our environment.


"Now the territory has the same type of footprint as the Lakes DHB, the fire service and the police. So we can interact with the DHB and the allied services."

Mr Lynch has been in Taupo for the last 16 years as an intensive care paramedic.

Although based in Taupo, he comes to Rotorua two to three times a week.

"We want to offer the best service delivery within our local communities and the role of territory manager is really interacting at that community level to make sure that whatever Rotorua's community need is what we are offering, which may be different to somewhere else.

"I want to be able to build those external relationships with the police and the fire service so that when there are big incidents we work together."

Mr Lynch said he fell into this line of work because he wanted to volunteer and give something back to the community.

"I had a friend whose dad was a paramedic up in Auckland and he said 'come out on an observer shift', so I did that and then joined as a volunteer."

He volunteered for about six months in Auckland where he studied for a Bachelor of Health Science before becoming an intensive care paramedic.

"I remember when I first joined the ambulance there was an elderly gentleman and I hadn't really interacted with sick people . . . and there was this guy who seemed really unwell.

"He's got chest pain and to him it was the worst thing that had ever happened in his life and you see the ambulance officers and the paramedics using all their equipment and I was really concerned because I'd never seen any of this before.

"I remember we took him into the hospital and all the concern should have been around him and I remember he grabbed hold of me and said, 'all the best with what you want to do in the ambulance,' and it was like he was thinking of me and it really should have all been on him."

Mr Lynch said that was when he realised St John really made a difference.

"It means a lot to people, what paramedics, what the ambulance service does and what St John stands for. It really makes a difference with people, that really struck a chord and I thought 'yeah I want to do this'.

"It's always a privilege, you're going into somebody's environment, house and you're doing that when it's their most vulnerable time and they've never met you before and they put their trust in you to look after them and the novelty of that never wears off."