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CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, APRIL 3, 2013
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Ambulance volunteers sought
By ANNA PRICE
LIFELINE: Ellesmere St John station manager Steve Inwood with volunteers Alastair Wood and Sue Allen at the Leeston
St John station.
Ellesmere is the biggest
volunteer service is Selwyn.
Figures for 2012: callouts, 857
(440 in 2008); mileage,
56,712km; volunteer staff
hours, 3480 (2231). Last year,
249 callouts were to accidents
of all types, and 582 medicals.
A total of 26 callouts were false
alarms or ''not required''. The
2008 figures show 152
accidents and 274 medicals,
with 14 ''no patient''.
A RECORD 850 emergency cal-
louts kept Ellesmere St John
Ambulance wheels spinning last
year, as crews covered nearly
57,000 kilometres and logged
close to 3500 hours.
The callouts are almost double
the 2008 figure of 440, sparking a
call for more volunteers prepared
for the commitment.
Leeston-based station manager
Steve Inwood said the 100 per
cent escalation in callouts in four
years had not only intensified the
local workload but had also
increased the number of jobs
crews were required to attend in
Christchurch and districts sur-
rounding the Ellesmere zone.
It takes two hours to take a
patient to Christchurch Hospital
and come back again,'' he said.
On Monday morning, for exam-
ple, we did two jobs in Christ-
church before returning home.''
Once in town, the ambulance
could be seconded to help Christ-
church crews depending on the
workload at that moment.
We're primarily in it for our
community and can't sustain too
long a time from our places of
employment. Although we are on
24/7, we do run a roster and when
you are on, you have to be avail-
Mr Inwood, who works for a
seed technology company, said
prospective volunteers needed to
grasp the level of commitment
required and how it might affect
Ellesmere operates one front-
line ambulance, and a van equip-
ped like an ambulance.
Its area spans the southern
flank of the Selwyn district from
the coast to the Rakaia River
including Lincoln, and midway to
Darfield in the west.
Murray Skilling, a former
ambulance officer who compiles
Ellesmere St John statistics, said
the spike in callouts reflected a
population move to the west of
Christchurch and the nature of
the territory the ambulance ser-
vice covered, from Mt Hutt during
the ski season, and, increasingly,
to Little River, Birdlings Flat and
They're doing a lot more jobs
outside the district,'' he said.
Bach owner's space junk theory to be tested
By MAT KERMEEN
STILL CURIOUS: Win Jones believes
it is now time to see what smashed a
large hole in the top of the chimney at
WIN JONES is starting to take
the phrase what goes up must
come down'' more seriously than
The Lincoln resident believes
his family bach may have been
struck by a falling piece of space
junk'' from an abandoned space
station last year.
After a long 12 months of
uncertainty, he is now determined
to find an answer to what exactly
fell from the sky.
Mr Jones had climbed onto the
roof of his family bach at Lake
Tekapo to check his chimney and
found a bizarre hole about 15 cen-
timetres long and varying in
width from 1cm in the middle to
about 4cm at either end.
If it had hit someone on the
head from any great height it
would have killed them for sure.''
The hole was burnt around the
edges of the sturdy piece of metal,
which he said had been ripped
A stunned Mr Jones had no idea
what had happened. He said it
was as if someone had whacked a
hammer through it twice''.
Something's gone straight
Mr Jones said he did not think
too much about it at the time, but
has since found out there was
publicity in the media about a
space station breaking up around
the time. He is not aware of any
other incidents in the area.
When he was replacing the rain
guard, he found a small piece of
metal on the roof that lines up
perfectly with one half of the hole.
Mr Jones said the object, which
he believes to be space junk'', has
characteristics consistent with the
object re-entering the earth's
I'm no expert on metals, but to
me it looks as though it has been
He checked on internet websites
and said his piece of alleged space
junk was very similar'' to the
photographs displayed on
It's completely random. I put it
in the shed and tried to forget
about, it but it has always been in
the back of my mind.
I've decided my mind is never
going to be put at ease unless I
can find out exactly what it is.''
Mr Jones said he was unsure
where to take the evidence, so had
not got around to doing anything
about it until now.
He handed the rain guard and
piece of suspected space junk to
the Central Canterbury News. We
will pass it on to an expert for
further investigation to see what
it was that fell out of the sky at
Lake Tekapo. If you have any idea
what it is, or have had a similar
experience, send your story to mat
Selwyn's jobs growth tops country
SELWYN RECORDED the strongest
economic growth of any district in
New Zealand last year.
According to the rankings released
by Business and Economic Research
Limited, Selwyn experienced
employment growth of 9.5 per cent,
with about 1200 new jobs created.
National employment grew by just 1
er cent in 2012.
Selwyn Mayor Kelvin Coe said
there was a lot of residential and
commercial construction under way
and many businesses setting up.
According to Statistics New Zea-
land, Selwyn had an estimated popu-
lation of 42,300 at June 2012.
There are 5400 businesses operat-
ing, with 14,400 fulltime equivalent
employees in the district.
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