ADF delivered two ambulances to Port Moresby today as part of Australia’s ongoing support to help bolster Papua New Guinea’s health services.
CAPTION: Andrew Thomas, Director of Ambulances, St John Ambulance Northern Territory, speaks with Royal Australian Air Force Corporal Rebecca Love before she loads a St John PNG ambulance onto a RAAF C-130J Hercules headed to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from RAAF Darwin, Northern Territory. Photo by Corporal Rodrigo Villablanca.
The vehicles were transported on a RAAF C-130J Hercules at the request of St John Ambulance Service PNG.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said the ADF welcomed this opportunity to assist St John Ambulance PNG.
“We’re proud to play a part in supporting PNG’s emergency ambulance service, and ability to provide increased primary healthcare to communities and rural villages,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.
The PNG Troop Carrier ambulances were refurbished in Darwin by St John Northern Territory.
St John NT CEO Judith Barker said the contract was testament to the skills and expertise of the St John NT mechanical workshop.
“Our mechanical workshop is responsible for building and maintaining the NT ambulance fleet which operates in often extreme weather and environmental conditions,” Ms. Barker said.
“We are pleased to share this expertise with St John PNG as they too work in similar conditions.
“These vehicles are dedicated off-road 4WD response vehicles.
“They will be used in remote areas, with rough terrain, for specialised medical emergency retrievals.
“St John NT has worked with a number of Australian suppliers to ensure the PNG ambulances are fitted out with equipment suitable for the challenging conditions they are likely to face.”
Lieutenant General Bilton said Defence had delivered three ambulances in total to PNG in the past month, along with other critical supplies and equipment to assist in the country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Defence is currently providing targeted assistance including technical and logistics support as part of the whole-of-Australian government support to PNG,” he said.
“This has included transporting Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) personnel, medical equipment, vaccines and other humanitarian supplies to Port Moresby.”