Margaret River’s St John Ambulance sub-centre has welcomed its four new full-time employed paramedics, delivered as part of a State Government partnership with the ambulance provider. Investment in the four new positions came from a parliamentary inquiry into WA’s ambulance sector that recommended a transition to a hybrid model where paid paramedics worked alongside volunteers. While volunteers continued to be the valued backbone of the service in the region, Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson told the Times the promised rollout of full-time paramedics across the South West recognised increased workloads. “Margaret River now joins Geraldton, Narrogin, Newman and Harvey with boosted ambulance response capabilities,” she said. “We’re excited to be delivering on more ambulance support than ever before in these vital regional communities. “We’ll continue to collaborate with St John WA and the WA Country Health Service to deliver on the State’s commitment of an additional 31 FTE paid paramedics in the regions.” Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie said transition to the hybrid model recognised the growth pressures faced by the burgeoning Margaret River region. “These four FTE paid paramedics will help support our valuable volunteers to service our community,” the first-term MP said. New sub-centre manager Adam Owens said his team would be in place within the next week. He moved with his partner and four children recently after 10 years of service in Kalgoorlie. Mr Owens and his colleagues were impressed with the strong volunteering culture and the professionalism of the existing ambulance officers who had served the region for so long. “The station and community both are really accepting of the transition and the career team’s entry,” he said. “There’s a few hurdles we’ve had to get over, but nothing that’s going to stop the operation of it. “We’ve got vans on the road. We’ve got great capacity. We’ve got great roster coverage,” Mr Owens said. “All of these things mean we are servicing the community really well at the moment.” A State Government spokesperson said the extra funding was part of the “modernised contract” with St John WA and part of a commitment to improve services Statewide.