28 Feb 2014

St John dips into reserve funds

12:55 pm on 28 February 2014

St John Ambulance has taken what it calls the first step in addressing under resourcing.

The service has approved $4 million of funding for 57 extra staff.

St John chief executive Peter Bradley said last year that the public should prepare for reduced services due to increased pressure on resources.

He also said staff morale was low because people were overworked and there were not enough ambulances.

The concerns prompted a major review of the service looking at making the best use of its resources.

Mr Bradley says they've taken the money from their reserves, and while it won't address all the needs, it's a start.

He says the majority of the 57 new staff will be in Auckland and Christchurch, with recruitment starting as soon as possible.

The new staff will all be frontline, ranging from basic to advanced level paramedics, Mr Bradley says.