Toy ambulances turn into a real one for Dunedin

Robbie Walker |

New Zealanders have helped turn block set toy ambulances into a much-needed ambulance for the Dunedin community following ASB’s successful St John toy ambulance campaign.

The national campaign, which ran in December last year, saw 10,000  toy ambulances sold to help put a real ambulance on New Zealand roads as part of the St John fleet.

The new ambulance will be gift wrapped and given to local St John members in Dunedin’s Octagon on Thursday, August 3 at 2:00pm. The ambulance will be unwrapped at the official ambulance unveiling ceremony which will include a blessing from the local area St John chaplain.

The full-size ambulance will be the newest addition to Dunedin’s fleet, complete with the latest ambulance technology including an automated Powerload Stryker Stretcher to help reduce lifting injuries for St John ambulance officers.

The vehicle, equipped with new 180-degree LED emergency lights for greater safety, will be road-ready by August 4, where it will remain for use within the region.

This is not the first ambulance ASB has donated to longstanding charity partner St John in the last 10 years. An ambulance was donated to the Canterbury region following the 2015 ASB toy ambulance campaign.

To help raise the money for the Dunedin ambulance, ASB staff got behind St John during the charity’s annual appeal in April. 

ASB general manager branch banking Grant Gilbert thanks New Zealanders from across the country for getting involved in ASB’s toy ambulance campaign.

“ASB is delighted to gift a new ambulance to the Dunedin community. Both ASB customers and staff enjoy our partnership with St John, and we’re delighted to support the local area committee by adding to their fleet and aiding their important work,” Mr Gilbert says.

St John South Island fundraising and marketing manager Debbie Pipson says the local community will be well served by the new ambulance. 

“Currently there are seven ambulances available to service the Dunedin community. St John is grateful to ASB and the New Zealand community for their generous support in purchasing a much-needed ambulance for the region. Thanks to their contribution this new ambulance will be on the road saving lives,” Ms Pipson says.  

St John Dunedin numbers

On average, St John attended 840 emergency incidents per month across the 12 months to June 30, 2017 in the Otago region.

More than 482,000 emergency 111 calls for an ambulance were made to St John across New Zealand in the 12 months to June 30, 2016.

Seven St John ambulances covered more than 183,064km kilometres in the same period.

About the ASB St John toy ambulance campaign

Block-set toy ambulances were sold at ASB branches across New Zealand for $15 throughout December 2016, with all money going towards buying a new ambulance for St John.

ASB and St John

ASB and St John   have enjoyed a strong and positive partnership since 2008.  ASB is   involved with St John in many ways:

  •   ASB   is proud to sponsor ASB St John in Schools, a first aid programme which   teaches Kiwi kids life-saving skills and the confidence to take action in an   emergency.
  •   ASB   staff volunteer on St John Area Committees, at local St John events, or as   Caring Callers.
  •   ASB   staff contribute to the St John Annual Appeal fundraising.
  •   Every   ASB branch throughout New Zealand is equipped with an AED.
  •   ASB   branches host AED and CPR workshops across the country.


Robbie Walker - National Communications Advisor
T 09 526 0528 I X 8847 I M 027 541 5167




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