St John opens ambulance base near Indian Ocean Drive

St John WA staff and volunteers from the Wheatbelt. Picture: Kym Illman
St John WA staff and volunteers from the Wheatbelt. Picture: Kym Illman

RURAL residents and visitors travelling north of Perth could benefit from faster emergency responses following construction of an ambulance base in Woodridge.

St John Ambulance officially opened the response and first aid training facility on Saturday to keep up with growing demand for services from the community.

The project was supported by Bendigo Bank, which provided $150,000, and the Shire of Gingin, which gave $75,000 and provided land for the facility.

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St John WA’s country ambulance general manager Justin Fonte said Woodridge, a sub-branch of the Lancelin centre, was an area of increasing demand and the service had outgrown the old facility.

“The previous site became too small to meet growing operational requirements and did not have adequate training facilities,” he said.

“As a result volunteer ambulance officer training was held at the local hall which was not ideal.”

The Woodridge service attends about 150 jobs a year, including major motor vehicle crashes on the nearby Indian Ocean Drive, where there have been several fatal crashes.

The St John ambulance base in Woodridge.

“We now have more ambulance personnel and will soon be adding another ambulance van to the fleet,” Mr Fonte said.

“This new facility, located on King Drive, will have improved amenities for personnel and visitors and an area where volunteers can get together and socialise, creating a friendly and supportive environment.”

Last financial year St John crews attended more than 70,000 cases across regional WA, a 4 per cent increase from the previous year.

“I’d like to thank the Lancelin and Woodridge teams, in particular Lancelin chairman Robert James, for helping this project come to fruition so effectively and efficiently,” Mr Fonte said.

St John chairman Shayne Leslie and Shire representatives attended the official opening on September 14, a day before a crash farther north on Indian Ocean Drive near the Pinnacles resulted in two deaths.


The St John ambulance base in Woodridge.