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Here to help...St John unload the consignment of lifting cushions. From left, Sally Jarvie (Timaru area executive officer), Debbi-Kaye Gardner (Timaru station manager), Josh Whyte, (ambulance officer) and Gordon Handy (Aoraki Regional Trust Board representative). PHOTO:SUPPLIED

by Chris Tobin

New lifting cushions donated to the St John Ambulance in South Canterbury will make life easier for patients and staff.

“Their primary use is to get someone off the floor; there’s an inflatable pad with different levels,” St John South Canterbury territory manager Darryn Grigsby said.

A patient is rolled on to an uninflated cushion. While one ambulance officer supports the person, another inflates the cushion, thereby raising the patient off the floor. Up to 450kg can be lifted.

“It’s going to make things a lot easier and a lot more comfortable for the person.

“It will also be a lot smoother and safer for our staff.”

St John received two donated cushions earlier this year from Barbara Davidson and Gordon Handy, which are kept at the Timaru station.

An anonymous donor trust has now given a further seven cushions, each worth $3500, for a total of $28,000.

“We’re very grateful,” Mr Grigsby said.

The cushions are being delivered to stations at Temuka, Geraldine, Waimate, Pleasant Point, Fairlie, Tekapo, Mt Cook and Twizel.