St John is launching a fundraising campaign today to increase its number of frontline ambulances, and long-term partner ASB has donated the first to get the campaign underway.

St John Director of Operations Dan Ohs says the organisation made the decision to postpone its annual appeal scheduled for the first week of April to support the nation’s response to COVID-19, but it has identified a need to increase the emergency ambulance fleet as we head into winter.

“It has been necessary to accelerate the production of emergency vehicles and life-saving equipment as the usual predicted increase in workload over winter is coupled with the uncertainty of COVID-19.”

“The reality is we don’t know exactly what winter will bring this year, and we need to be able to respond to the public no matter what the situation.”

The additional ambulances will give greater resilience and allow St John to deploy vehicles where they are needed most urgently.

As the purchase of these ambulances and lifesaving equipment was not scheduled until next year, fundraising is needed to get them onto the frontline as soon as possible.

ASB has kick started the appeal for St John by generously donating the first of the ten ambulances being fundraised for.

ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the immense importance of New Zealand’s frontline health services and the need to support them. “We have been a major partner of St John for more than ten years, and having worked closely with them over that time we have seen first-hand the amazing work they do, and the impact - often life-saving - that this has across the country.”

“The importance of our frontline services and healthcare professionals is shown most clearly in times of crises, and this could not be truer than in the last few months,” says Graham.

ASB launched a campaign earlier this month to thank essential workers, including St John staff and paramedics, but Graham says ASB wanted to go a step further to show their support.

“We know how important having enough ambulances on the road is, especially as we come into winter. We hope this first ambulance will help with that and encourage others to donate and support St John’s fundraising campaign if they can,” says Graham.

This is the eighth ambulance ASB and its customers have donated in recent years to St John.

Ohs says the generous donation by ASB gets them closer to being able to prepare and be there for New Zealanders.

“We are in extraordinary times which require extraordinary support and collaboration.”

If you would like to support St John, click here



Ngaire Jones

Communications Advisor

M 021 0549135


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