St John hails new era

Member for Pearce Christian Porter, Northam Shire president Steven Pollard, St John Ambulance chief executive officer Tony Ahern and Wheatbelt manager Simon Burke.

Member for Pearce Christian Porter, Northam Shire president Steven Pollard, St John Ambulance chief executive officer Tony Ahern and Wheatbelt manager Simon Burke.

Tamplin Street in Northam is home to the new $4.37 million dollar St John Ambulance WA wheatbelt sub centre, first aid training facility and regional office.

The new facility, located two streets from the Northam Hospital, was officially opened on Wednesday, October 11, with many interested parties in attendance. 

Northam Station manager Tim Sonsee said the new facility is modern, new and inviting.

“The old place is obviously out of date and we have waited a long time,” he said.

“Hopefully our response times will be better because everything is a bit closer. 

“Also, we are all in one communal setting now which makes for a nice team environment.”

Northam St John Ambulance volunteer Adele French agreed this is a positive change.

“The volunteers and paramedics were separated and in different areas before,” she said. “We are all together in one area now.”

The project will contribute to the continued operation of a 24/7 ambulance service in Northam and will provide additional facilities for the increase in demand for first aid training

St John Ambulance Country Ambulance general manager Julian Smith said the ambulance service had delivered quality care to the Northam community for many years and the growth of Northam had created a need for the new facilities. 

“The existing infrastructure for St John in Northam consisted of a fragmentation of facilities located across town and it was identified that there was the need to expand our services,” he said. 

​“This new centre will help us deliver our integrated model of service, where volunteers and career paramedics work side by side and first aid plays an integral part in the chain of survival.

“The project will contribute to the continued operation of a 24/7 ambulance service in Northam and will provide additional facilities for the increase in demand for first aid training.”

In 2015/16, Northam paramedics and clinical volunteers treated more than 2,700 people and St John also trained more than 876 people in first aid. 

The Australian Government invested $2.1m towards the project and the Northam Shire contributed $136,000 towards the project.