St John - first to care



To ALL PRIME Providers

This is an extremely important message for all PRIME Responders, please ensure you distribute this to your teams today. A separate email will be sent to all those who are booked on courses within the next two months.

Due to the developing situation with COVID 19 the decision has been made today to suspend the delivery of PRIME Refresher and Initial course training until further notice.

This will enable PRIME Responders to focus on their increased workload and remain safe in the current environment and give St John the ability to release our Clinical Support Officers for other essential duties as part of the COVID-19 response.

We appreciate that this may impact some PRIME Responders in terms of pending expiry of their certification and so we will work with ACC and NASO on a strategy to enable PRIME Responders who have pending expiry dates to remain current, with a view to extend the exemption period to align with the time frame in which the suspension of courses will run.

If you have any concerns or questions please direct them to prime.support@stjohn.org.nz


The PRIME (Primary Response in Medical Emergencies) service is a jointly commissioned project funded by the MoH and ACC and administered by St John. It has been developed to provide both the coordinated response and appropriate management of emergencies in rural locations.

The PRIME service utilises the skills of specially trained rural GPs and/or rural nurses in areas to support the ambulance service where the response time for assistance would otherwise be significant or where additional medical skills would assist with the patient's condition.

PRIME providers operate an oncall roster system where their PRIME trained practitioners are response capable either 24/7 or as per their contracted agreement with St John. The on call PRIME practitioner carries a pager, PRIME response kit and other relevant safety equipment and is mobilised by the Ambulance Clinical Control Centre following an emergency call. The key objectives of PRIME are to support the ambulance service with a rapid response to seriously ill or injured patients, and to provide higher level medical skills than may otherwise be available from the ambulance service in rural communities.

PRIME practitioners are required to undertake an initial PRIME training course which is followed by a refresher training course for trauma and medical emergencies every two years. PRIME training courses and PRIME refresher courses are provided by St John and funded by MoH.

For all PRIME enquiries please email PRIME.support@stjohn.org.nz

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