Belmont, Perth,

New ambulance service for Katanning

A new transport service for patients requiring transportation to and from Katanning District Hospital will be launched in Katanning in July.

St John Ambulance Great Southern Regional Manager David Schober said the new service would provide benefits to the community.

"The service will provide support to volunteer Ambulance Officers who have seen an enormous increase in their workload over the last few years," he said.

"The creation of this service has come at the request of the Katanning community which has felt the pressures of a rapidly growing demand for patient transport. This often includes long trips to Albany Regional Hospital."

The new service will allow St John Ambulance to employ and train up to 10 local people as casual Transport Officers to undertake the patient transport work.

Katanning Sub Centre was established in 1932 and has been operated by volunteers since its inception.

In recent times the Sub Centre has seen a steady increase in the number of patients needing to be transported to larger regional health centres for specialist medical support.

In 2012, Katanning Sub Centre responded to 448 jobs, representing a 20 per cent increase from 2010.

Volunteers at the Katanning Sub Centre will continue to respond to local emergency calls, while the hospital to hospital patient transfers will be undertaken by the new paid crews employed by St John Ambulance.