Paramedic pleads for Government to fully fund St Johns

News 27/03/2019

A Christchurch paramedic has penned an open letter to the Government pleading for full funding in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

Dean Brown and his colleagues criticised a St John fundraising ad asking for donations to "help our crews that responded to the Christchurch tragedy", saying it showed a lack of respect for victims.

The ad was pulled, but Brown said it only highlighted for him the need for ambulance service funding.

"The ad that was on the webpage was the final trigger for me [it] demonstrated that we are heavily reliant on others to provide this emergency service and it felt wrong and my colleagues and I were quite angered and upset about it."

He said the ad was an issue, but it was "part of a bigger problem."

"The fact that in my view we're one of three core emergency services along with police and fire and emergency, and we rely on communities to provide donations to fund the service, along with part-charging, to us it just doesn't make sense.

"That money could be better used by families in their communities and on themselves rather than funding a core emergency service."

He said the letter was the next step in asking the government to help out the service which has been operating at a multi-million dollar deficit for years.

"I wrote it on Monday after the donation thing came about and I sent it on to some of my colleagues to say 'what do you think?' it evolved from there."

Currently the St John ambulance service receives 75 percent of their funding from the Government, the other 25 percent they aim to gain through community fundraisers.

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