NATIONAL private event medic provider ProMed has expanded its business into Southland.
Managing director Don Gutsell said sending equip› ment and staff down from Timaru to cover Oreti Speed› way and Sport Southland events had been costly, so, with commitment from sev› eral organisations, it was decided to set up an Invercargill›based operation.
Mr Gutsell and his wife Jocelyn, of Temuka, started ProMed about 11 years ago and now have operations throughout New Zealand and in Queensland, Australia.
At present there were five staff from first responders to intermediate life support medics based in Invercargill and several medics in Te Anau, he said.
Southland intermediate life support medic Dave Loudon said one ambu› lance was based in Invercargill with a second to be added to the fleet this year, but additional vehicles and equipment could be sourced from other centres as needed.
In addition to providing medical support at events, ProMed also sells medical and safety equipment, provided training in first aid and workplace safety and conducts drug screening.
As it was a fully licenced ambulance service, ProMed was also considering providing a transport service for rest›home residents to and from hospital and doctor appointments, he said.
However, ProMed did not carry out 111 emergency calls as that service was contracted to St John, which did a ‘‘good job’’, he said.
‘‘We are here to work along› side those guys.’’
Mr Gutsell said the service Promed provided took some of the pressure and burden off St John to help it maintain its 24›hour emergency service, which had had a positive impact in other places around New Zealand.
It was hoped Southlanders would support ProMed as it would benefit the people of Southland to have two medic options so if one company was unable to cover an event, the event would not need to be cancelled, he said.
‘‘That is primarily why we are here.’’