St John Ambulance has contingency plans in place ahead of planned industrial action by some ambulance officers this week.

One of three unions representing ambulance officers has indicated their members will walk off the job for a 24-hour period starting from 6.00am on both Wednesday 25 and Saturday 28 November.  

St John has enlisted non-striking ambulance officers, volunteers and paid staff in other roles who have ambulance qualifications, to cover those who will be on strike to provide a safe service. St John will also be increasing the number of staff providing clinical triage in the Ambulance Communications centres during these two days of reduced service. We continue to work with FIRST Union to ensure Life Preserving Service regulations are adhered to.

While ambulance officers will continue to be there for all patients, the most urgent and life-threatening emergencies will be given the highest priority, and there will likely be delays for patients with less urgent needs.

St John is reminding the public to only call 111 for an ambulance if it is a medical emergency.

Examples of medical emergencies include chest pain, shortness of breath, severe bleeding, and major accidents. Examples of non-life-threatening problems include strains and sprains and earache. 

In non-life-threatening cases, patients may be called back by a paramedic or registered nurse who will ask a series of additional questions to determine the best care needed. This may include health advice or referral to another health provider such as a GP.

In some cases, St John may send a paramedic in a car to assess the patient, before determining whether a transporting ambulance is required. 

The main areas affected by the withdrawal of labour are Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Christchurch.

Please attribute to Dan Ohs, St John Deputy Chief Executive – Ambulance Operations.



Notes to editors:

For more information, visit



Beverley Tse

St John Communications Advisor

M 0273181553 | E

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