St John ambulance officers are sporting a new look from this week in what is the organisation’s first major uniform upgrade in twelve years.
Auckland-based officers are the first to wear the new green uniform which is being rolled-out nationwide over the next three months.
While the green strip is a departure from the traditional white shirt, black pants and green jacket the public has come to know and trust for medical emergencies, changes were necessary in the interests of functionality, comfort and cost – and green is the internationally recognised colour associated with medical care.
The new uniform consists of a dark green shirt, white under-shirt and dark green cargo trousers.
Key to the new design is functionality and durability while having a uniform that still proudly represents the iconic St John brand.
Frontline staff are embracing the change while enjoying positive feedback from colleagues and the community.
“It’s much more appropriate for the type of work we do, especially the cargo pants,” says Intensive Care Paramedic and poster girl Kateshe Clark. “They have pockets down the side that you can put syringes and equipment in and the elastic waistband is so much more comfortable to bend and work in. And the colour is much appropriate for our line of work – white shirts showed up everything!”
St John Operations Director Michael Brooke says the uniform update is something staff have been requesting for some time and it is a pragmatic and cost-effective move.
“We have estimated there will be a saving of about $400 thousand over three years including replacement and roll-out costs – that’s a saving of over $130 per uniform kit issued to full-time paid staff.”
Most importantly, Mr Brooke believes the new uniform will enhance frontline staff’s ability to operate well while treating and caring for the public.
New Zealand uniform and corporate work wear company Profile Limited will supply the uniforms.
St John’s last major uniform overhaul occurred back in 2002 when maroon epaulettes, tie and jumper were replaced with the current look.
Click here for the features of the new uniform. Understand the St John practice levels here (these are the different qualifications of St John ambulance officers and what you’ll see on their uniform).