The West

The State Government has backed the country volunteer ambulance model, despite claims by the WA Police Union the format is failing.

It was revealed last week police in Laverton are being forced to transport patients in the back of paddy wagons because of a lack of St John ambulance volunteers in the town.

But Health Minister Kim Hames said he was satisfied with a volunteer model for regional areas.

“I am advised by St John ambulance that Geraldton has doubled the number of volunteers this year and Margaret River has also attracted additional volunteers and the appointment of a new community paramedic which is expected to further build numbers and enhance the skills of current volunteers,” Dr Hames said.

“There are plans in place to improve services in Collie.

“The St John country volunteer model remains an excellent model of care, and I am advised by St John Ambulance the numbers of volunteers in regional WA overall have increased.”

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