Saturday, 17 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

St John Mercury Bay South Ambulance Station formally opened

After three years of planning and fundraising, the new St John Mercury Bay South Ambulance Station in Hahei was formally opened last Sunday afternoon. Among the dignitaries were Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, Thames-Coromandel Council Mayor Sandra Goudie, TCDC Councillors Murray McLean and Tony Fox and Richard Blundell KStJ, patron of the St John Northern Region.

In his welcoming address, Richard Vetter, chairman of the St John Mercury Bay Area Committee, thanked the residents of the Mercury Bay South area for financially supporting the station, the members of the area committee for their hard work behind the scenes, TCDC for making the land available on which the station has been developed (at the Kotare Reserve in Pa Road), Geoff Hick Builders for the professional job they did in building the station and the volunteers working in the St John Opportunity Shop in Whitianga for their help in raising much of the money that was needed for the station.

Before formally declaring the station open, Richard Blundell said it was a long journey to get to the point where the station could be opened, but it was worth it. He said the station is fit for purpose and something the entire Mercury Bay South community can be proud of. He has also thanked Penne Clayton, the St John Mercury Bay South volunteer station manager, for her dedication to the community. “Penne, your diligence, attention to detail and leadership is outstanding,” he said.

The station was formally dedicated by the Reverend Peter Gordon, the St John Hauraki District chaplain.

The station features an ambulance bay, two bedrooms, a lounge area with a kitchenette and a bathroom. The station is a first responder station. An ambulance will always be available, but the station won’t always be manned. “The St John volunteer ambulance officers in the Mercury Bay South area are all first responders,” Penne told The Informer. “It means we all live and work in the community and respond whenever there’s an emergency. If care from a qualified paramedic is needed, that will be provided from Whitianga, Tairua or further afield.

“Over the busy summer period we’ll have paramedics based at the station.”

In addition to Penne, there are three qualified St John first responders in the Mercury Bay South area, with three new volunteer recruits currently going through the qualification process. “Our new recruits are all under 30 years of age, which I’m very excited about,” Penne said.

According to Richard Vetter, the new station cost $270,000 to develop, but it would have been close to $450,000 if it wasn’t for generous donations of materials and labour from a wide range of Mercury Bay business.

The St John Mercury Bay South Ambulance Station will cover an area from Ferry Landing to Whenuakite and Coroglen, including Cooks Beach, Hahei and Hot Water Beach.

Pictured are (from the left) Richard Vetter, Penne Clayton and Richard Blundell at the opening of the station on Sunday afternoon.

LATEST WEEKLY ISSUE

ONLINE POLL

Do you agree with the realignment of the road at the corner of Albert Street and Campbell Street in Whitianga?

The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.