Andrew McMartin |

Hato Hone St John has boosted its emergency response capabilities in the Hawke’s Bay, with the roll out of a new Major Incident Support Team (MIST) vehicle.

The deployment was made possible thanks to the generosity of New Zealanders who donated to the Hato Hone St John Light the Way Annual Appeal 2023.

A dedication ceremony will be held on 7 August, coinciding with the opening of the new Napier ambulance station.

Based in Napier, the vehicle is the first of its kind for the region and will be used during major emergencies and public events.

It contains vital equipment to support frontline emergency ambulance teams, including bulk medical equipment capable of treating up to 50 patients, stretchers, an inflatable rescue shelter, generator, scene lighting, and vital communications equipment.

After months of extreme weather events, Brendon Hutchinson, Hato Hone St John District Operations Manager, says the MIST vehicle is a crucial addition to the region’s emergency fleet.

“Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay were completely isolated and cut off from each other when Cyclone Gabrielle hit. This highlighted a risk to our emergency ambulance response that we had never seen before.

“As the frequency of extreme weather events increases, so does the pressure on our services. Having this new MIST vehicle will enable us to better respond to emergencies as they arise,” Mr Hutchison says.

With the vehicle now in service, Michelle Gillman, Hato Hone St John Volunteer Support Manager says new volunteers are being sought to assist with MIST operations.

“Our Major Incident Support Teams provide critical operational support to frontline ambulance staff in areas such as radio communications, logistics, patient admin and tracking, welfare, and fleet movement. Our teams also assist our Event Health Services team with large-scale events such as concerts, festivals, and sporting events.”

Ms Gillman says people who are positive, practical, calm under pressure and adaptive to change should contact Hato Hone St John if they’re interested in becoming a MIST volunteer.

Volunteers will receive full training up to Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) Level 2. This includes risk management and driver training, MIST specific training, and an internationally recognised qualification. Applicants do not need to have clinical experience.

To find out more about volunteering with Hato Hone St John visit


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