New St John centre to grow vital service

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Renae Coates, Tim Dunlop, Andrew Price, Jason McKenzie.
Camera IconRenae Coates, Tim Dunlop, Andrew Price, Jason McKenzie.

The health and safety of the Pilbara town of Onslow received a boost after works began on a new St John ambulance sub-centre.

Located on the corner of McGrath Avenue and Otway Court, near the newly redeveloped Onslow Health Campus, the centre will also have a first aid training facility.

St John head of country operations Justin Fonte said the current facility no longer met operational needs because of insufficient space for ongoing training, inadequate amenities and limited access during the cyclone season because of flooding.

“We have been able to make this project happen thanks to a significant $2,000,000 contribution from Chevron Australia, the ongoing support of the Western Australian Government from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and the Shire of Ashburton,” he said.

“This move means we can grow the capacity of the volunteer ambulance service and provide better facilities for volunteer and first aid training.”

Mr Fonte said the new centre would have a four-bay garage with drive-through capacity, improved amenities for staff, volunteers, and first-aid participants.

“The new facility provides fatigue-management rooms for volunteers, a dedicated administration space, first-aid kit servicing capabilities, and amenities to allow volunteers to socialise and debrief when not on call,” he said.

Mr Fonte said St John ambulance volunteers in Onslow attended about 150 call-outs a year.

“This new build will give us the capacity to encourage and recruit more volunteers and be prepared for any increase in demand going forward,” he said. Health Minister Roger Cook said it was terrific the ambulance sub-centre and training facility could be located in the same place.

“This investment will provide the community — and our Onslow ambulance volunteers, who are on the front line for health emergencies — with a modern, fit-for-purpose facility accessible in all weather conditions,” he said.

“Located alongside the new Onslow hospital ... the new ambulance sub-station will round off a major investment by Chevron and the State Government in the town’s critical health infrastructure.”

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