‘Dictatorship’ claim at ambo inquiry

Sacked local ambulance chief says ‘toxic culture’ caused Toodyay volunteers to quit

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

SEVERAL Toodyay ambulance volunteers have resigned because of a “toxic culture” in St John Ambulance regional management and others are too afraid to speak out about it, a Perth parliamentary inquiry has been told.

Former local St John Ambulance chair Charlie Wroth (pictured left on Anzac Day 2019) claimed under oath that WA’s privately run ambulance service was intolerant of criticism and had failed “in basic areas” of emergency service delivery.

He described it as “more of a dictatorship”.

Mr Wroth, who is also a Shire of Toodyay Fire Control Officer and volunteer firefighter, said the State Government should take over the running of WA ambulance operations, as with fire and emergency services.

St John sacked Mr Wroth and expelled him from the organisation in 2019 after he “raised concerns about how volunteers are treated” at an emergency services forum organised by local WA Nationals MPs in Northam.

His 39-year volunteer membership was cancelled and he was ordered to leave the ambulance depot and return his uniform.

Mr Wroth had been awarded a St John Ambulance Cross for “outstanding service” by State Governor Kim Beazley at WA Government House seven months earlier.

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