St John - first to care

The PRIME (Primary Response in Medical Emergencies) programme 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 programme 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.

A PRIME practitioner carries a pager and is mobilized by the regional ambulance communications centre (RCC) following an emergency call. The PRIME programme activates the practitioner within a local roster system that provides a response capability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The key objectives of PRIME are to support the ambulance service with a rapid response to seriously ill or injured, 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 a PRIME training course followed by a refresher training course for trauma and medical emergencies at least once every two years.

A PRIME practitioner is also supplied with a PRIME medical kit to cater for the situations likely to be encountered.

PRIME training courses and PRIME refresher courses are provided by St John.

NOTE: CPG application updates are now available

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