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Ambo shortage solution in sight
Ambo shortage solution 'in sight'

St John ambulance and the Shire of Laverton say they are within sight of achieving a lasting solution to the shortage of volunteers that has crippled the outback town’s ambulance service.

Representatives of St John, WA Police, the WA Police Union, the Shire of Laverton, WA Country Health Service and local mining operations met yesterday to discuss ways to avert the crisis which had police transporting patients in the back of vans.

St John country ambulance general manager Chris Boag said it was likely police would occasionally still transport patients, as they do in other WA regional towns.

He said police had transported patients in about 20 per cent of call-outs requiring an ambulance in Laverton last year, and this figure would “seriously diminish” in 2013.

He said the town would have “eight to 10” fully trained volunteers in three months, enough to operate the town’s ambulance service.

Since April, St John has employed a full-time community paramedic for the Northern Goldfields based in Laverton to train new volunteers.