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Waihi station staff and guests welcomed the new ambulance, gifted by the Gattung foundation. Photo: SUPPLIED

New ambulance for Waihi

Waihi’s newest ambulance was unveiled on April 14 at the Hato Hone St John Waihi ambulance station. The vehicle was gifted by Angela and Theresa Gattung of the Gattung Foundation, to meet the ongoing needs of the growing area.

In attendance at the event were members of the St John Order including board personnel, Gattung family members, and local kaumatua.

The Gattung Foundation’s executive director Angela Gattung said the foundation was born out of herself and Theresa’s shared drive to give back, make a difference, redress inequalities they see around them, and use their skills to make real change.

“The donation of this ambulance is our way of giving back to the Waihi community following the support our whānau received during our dad’s illness,” Angela said.

“The local community has a growing number of retired residents, who, like our dad, will likely need medical support during their later years. This new ambulance will be a welcome addition for the team at Hato Hone St John in the area.”

John Armitt, Hato Hone St John Central West Area Operations Manager, said they were humbled by the generous donation of a new generation four ambulance by the Gattung Foundation.

“This is a wonderful gift to our community and on behalf of the team in Waihi and the wider emergency ambulance service, I would like to thank the Gattung Foundation for its generosity. This is a welcome addition to the fleet and will be invaluable in the life-saving work that our people do every day.

“The new ambulance, which exhibits Hato Hone St John’s new Waka Manaaki livery, will replace one of the two transporting ambulances that currently serves the district: one that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the second that operates 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The vehicle will be complemented by a volunteer-crewed First Response Unit and another volunteer-crewed ambulance which is deployed when required,” John said.

In 2022, the Waihi ambulance crew attended 2,431 incidents, with the most common callouts being for falls, chest pain, breathing issues, unconsciousness, abdominal pain, trauma and strokes.

“As with other regions throughout the country, emergency vehicles work as part of a network. Waihi is supported by ambulances in Whangamata, Paeroa and Katikati, as well as rescue helicopters from Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland, and PRIME responders from the area,” John said.

The Gattung Foundation has five ‘care causes’ that support charities, community groups and individuals that are close to Theresa and Angela’s hearts. The ambulance donation relates to the Here Together care cause, which is about growing stronger families within supportive communities.