The Great Barrier Island Ambulance Station in Tryphena. Photo / Supplied

Island Smashes Fundraising Goal for Paramedic Cover

Great Barrier Island’s community has rallied together, surpassing our fundraising target to ensure continuous ambulance service during a much-needed break for veteran volunteer paramedic, Adam Johnston. Donors have successfully raised over $19,000, ensuring that stand-in paramedic, Joy Carter, can seamlessly take over while Johnston is away.

Johnston, a mainstay of our medical services having given 15 years of his time is taking a well-earned two month break from Aotea, starting this month. As the island does not have the population for a paid role, we needed to raise $14,000 within a month.

The response was swift and significant, the community surpassed the initial goal, bringing the total funds to $19,370. The Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust will hold the excess funds for future paramedic funding needs.

As the new face of care on the island, Joy Carter brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to community health. “I’d like to introduce Joy Carter, who will be our relief Paramedic for the next two months,” Johnston shared. Carter’s extensive background includes decades of service as a nurse and paramedic in various challenging environments.

Carter, who joined St John as an ambulance volunteer in 1977, has since been a crucial part of emergency services across Northland and Auckland. Her career highlights include working as a rural paramedic in Kaitaia, where she was on call 24/7, and later as an Intensive Care Paramedic in Silverdale.

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Waves, Woods, and Wonders: Discover Aotea, Great Barrier Island

Reflecting on her arrival on Aotea, Carter expressed enthusiasm about her temporary new home. “I am looking forward to meeting everyone on Aotea and hopefully I may be encouraged to paint or just chill out and enjoy the surroundings,” she said, reiterating her interests ranging from painting to quilting.

Johnston’s introduction of Carter as the interim paramedic was more than a mere handover; it was an invitation to the community to welcome a new guardian into their fold. “Please say ‘Hi’ to Joy if you see her out and about,” he urged.

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Waves, Woods, and Wonders: Discover Aotea, Great Barrier Island
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