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Tuakau has finally got an ambulance.
The car, a so-called first response vehicle, was handed over by St John on Wednesday evening at the Cosmopolitan Club during the Rotary Club’s annual charity dinner.
The vehicle has the same capabilities as an ambulance, but is unable to transport people.
Should that be necessary a vehicle from further afield will have to be called in.
The vehicle will be fully kitted out in the next two weeks and it is anticipated that the ambulance service for Tuakau and districts will begin during the first week in July.
Douglas Gallagher (St John District Operations Manager, Northern Region) says St John offers a service it would rather no-one used.
“But we know from experience we can expect 10-15 calls a week for this area.”
He said St John is rolling out an ambitious programme throughout the nation, costing $155 million, to ensure every community has access to its services within the next few years.
All this money is raised by local communities.
For Tuakau, an ambulance vehicle and a station in the town has been a long held dream.
As long as 90 years ago someone donated land for the purpose, but the dream never materialised, until now.
The Tuakau Emergency Services Trust has worked hard to negotiate with St John, get paramedics and ambulance drivers and crew trained and is currently discussing land for a station with the Waikato District Council.
The Tuakau ambos will be known within St John as crew 158.
The ambulance station will cost close to $400,000 and once availability of the land is sorted, through the Onewhero/Tuakau Community Board and Waikato District Council, building can begin.
Rotary president Richard Gee, who is also on the board of the Emergency Services Trust, is confident the station will be done and dusted this time next year.
“The actual build takes around four weeks.”
Crew 158 can still use more volunteers, but it is important to know you need to live within 3km of the centre of Tuakau.
Call Gary McGuire on 027 496 1870 for more information.
Current crew have been trained in other towns such as Thames, Ngatea and Pukekohe.
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