A thousand paramedics will work in mufti over the next six days in protest at what they say is underfunding and an increased workload.
First Union and St John met in mediation on Wednesday but were unable to resolve a dispute over pay and conditions.
Starting today, ambulance officers will work in their own clothes and wear union badges.
The union was originally threatening a ban on paperwork, but spokesperson Lynette Blacklaws said staff wanted to reassure the public they would never put anyone at risk.
"What we hope it will do is just keep the pressure on St John and have the public asking questions about what the issues are for our paramedics."