St John - first to care

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 between MOH and ACC.

For all PRIME enquiries please email

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