St John have announced the launch of their new First Response Units designed for remote communities, with Murupara on the list to receive them.

The new ambulance model was designed specifically to support rural and
remote communities.

The official launch of the vehicles will take place in Murupara on August 17.

The new fleet of 14 Volkswagen First Response Units were handed over to St John at a launch event in Auckland on July 11.


The new ambulances were designed to speed up emergency response times to isolated communities.

St John Assistant Director of Operations Tony Devanney said the vehicles were "smaller and nimbler" than a traditional ambulance.

"They are ideal for narrow roads, difficult terrain and St John first responders working outside metropolitan areas."

He said the shorter job cycle times mean volunteers can remain in their local communities and have greater flexibility.

Contributions from donors around the country have made the delivery of these
vehicles possible.

He said fundraising had played an essential part in getting the new fleet on the road.

Up to another 60 vehicles will be rolled out over the next two to three years.

An open day will include a blessing and dedication for the new vehicles and a tour of the Murupara station.


A morning tea and sausage sizzle will be held with a chance for attendees to chat with volunteers who will be responding in the new vehicle.