St John Ambulance new national ambulance operations centre opens


The Papua New Guinea St John Ambulance Council has a new Emergency Ambulance Operation Centre in Port Moresby. This is how it is helping Papua New Guineans.

Staff at the new National Operations Centre in POM. Credit: St John Ambulance

The Papua New Guinea St John Ambulance Council has officially opened its new Emergency Ambulance Operations Centre in Port Moresby, an initiative of the Department of Prime Minister & NEC and the Department of Health in partnership with the PNG St John Ambulance.

The new Centre provides the PNG St John Ambulance with the much-improved ability to coordinate ambulance services, doubling the previous number of call-taker and dispatcher desks. The centre has a capacity to support up to 120 ambulances and 10 flight medical teams at any one-time around PNG.

The Department of Prime Minister and NEC invested K500,000 and Kumul Consolidated Holdings a further K1 million towards the construction of the Centre. However, to ensure its operations in Port Moresby and elsewhere in the country, including Kundiawa, Lae and Kokopo, St John’s is still dependent on the support of private sector business houses.

Earlier in 2022, the Australian Government supported a significant upgrade of radio-data communications systems including a hybrid of Motorola LTE and VHF and CAD ICT systems, whilst the New Zealand Government and the United Nations Development Program assisted with the supply and installation of Barrett HF radios for rural ambulances. Other business houses, including Motorola, MJE and TEPNG, assisted in the construction of the operation centre .

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At the opening of the Operations Centre, Prime Minister Marape said, ‘St John Ambulance Service will be allocated increased budgetary support in 2023 to support their key corporate objectives.

‘The Government also supports the review of legislation to incorporate amendments that would change the way St John Ambulance Service deliver ambulance services in PNG. This will be coordinated between St John Ambulance Service and the Department of Justice and Attorney General,’ the Prime Minister said.

Over 150 men and women serve St John Ambulance in ambulance service-related roles in four regions of PNG.

Last year, the ambulance service responded to over 13,000 emergency incidents and this year the ambulance service has already responded to over 15,500 emergencies.

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