Knock on head turns out doubly good

Beryl and Doug were happy to donate a second ambulance on the condition that Doug did not have to ride in it.

An older man’s nasty fall has led to the Mahurangi community getting a surprise Christmas present.

Retired Warkworth man Doug Good was heading to bed when he slipped and fell over, banging his head.

His wife, Beryl, noticed that Doug appeared disorientated.

Fearing that he might be suffering from concussion, she called an ambulance.

Doug informed her that he had never been in an ambulance before in his entire 87 years and he was not about to start getting in one now.

Ironically despite the reluctance to ride in an ambulance, Doug and Beryl had stumped with $180,000 exactly two years ago to provide St John with a new ambulance with an advanced hydraulic-controlled bed to serve the area.

And despite Doug’s protestations, that same ambulance turned up at the Good’s home to cart Doug off to North Shore Hospital.

Doug held on to one female ambulance officer’s hand. He told her how lovely she was, but nevertheless insisted he was not getting in the ambulance.

After checking Doug’s vital signs, which appeared to be all okay, the ambulance officers concluded that they could not force him.

“Then in the next breath, Doug said he would buy them another ambulance,” Beryl recalls.

When Beryl broached him about the subject the next day, Doug said he couldn’t remember making the offer.

But after talking it over, the couple decided that donating a second ambulance would be a good idea.
“I think we felt the community is growing and there is a need,” Beryl says.

Moreover, the first ambulance the couple donated is starting to show signs of wear. It has travelled over 200,000km and attended more than 2700 incidents over the last two years, mostly in Warkworth, Wellsford, Silverdale and the North Shore.

The couple didn’t even consider reneging on the second ambulance offer when they learned that ambulance prices had gone up. The cost of the second state-of-the art ambulance will be $205,000.

The new ambulance will be a Generation 3 model, which incorporates various improvements recommended by ambulance officers.

It’s hoped the new ambulance will be in service around May next year. The couple’s first donated ambulance was christened ‘Dobegoo’ – a contraction of Doug and Beryl Good – their second ambulance will be known as ‘Dobegoo 2”. But Beryl says the real credit should go to the people who provide the ambulance service.

“We could not do what they do and are in awe of their patience in often difficult situations, and their caring manner,” she says.   

Doug and Beryl formerly owned Good Realty based in Coatesville and Beryl says they worked hard during that period.

“We always like to give back, so we are giving back. You only need so much to survive,” she says.

“I don’t think we will be giving another one after this though. I want to have a bit left for my old age.”

St John Warkworth Area Committee chairman Alan Boniface says everybody was amazed when he first learned of the Good’s offer of a second ambulance. Beryl made the announcement at a Vote of Thanks ceremony last month to honour the Good’s previous support for St John.

“We just about all fell over. There was a huge round of applause for them, of course,” he says.


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