KI ambulance volunteer off on NZ exchange

Kingscote volunteer ambulance officer Toni Kempster has been selected from ambulance volunteers around SA to attend an exchange program in New Zealand.

The South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS) has an ongoing exchange program with the St John New Zealand ambulance service, which operates in a similar fashion with a mix of volunteers and paid staff.

Under the St John New Zealand Volunteer Exchange Program, four SAAS volunteers each year visit New Zealand for up to 14 days and then the SA service reciprocates by hosting New Zealand volunteers.

Toni Kempster, who has volunteered for 15 years, said she did not know what part of New Zealand she would be visiting in November but she was looking forward to the experience.

KI ambulance volunteer team leader Mark Haby participated the New Zealand exchange about 10 years ago and gained a lot from the experience, she said.

She had also put her hand up to host any NZ ambulance officers and said it would be very nice if one of the four Kiwi paramedics could spend some time on Kangaroo Island.

St John serves communities throughout New Zealand by delivering an extensive range of essential health-related services and products. It’s a charitable organisation that operates independently of government and business. 

Ambulance volunteers play a vital role in remote areas such as Kangaroo Island. 

They help patients receive lifesaving treatment faster where the local ambulance has to cover large distances. SAAS is always looking for volunteers.

Anyone interested in joining the KI ambulance team can contact Michael Berden for further information on 0429 990 626.