Christchurch mosque attacks: St John paramedic reduced to tears as he addresses victims' families

Warning: This story contains details some people may find distressing. 

A St John paramedic was reduced to tears on Wednesday with a direct message to victims' families as to why they didn't administer intensive care inside the Al Noor Mosque prayer room. 

Breaking down in the witness stand, Craig Stockdale told the families their badly injured relatives needed more than paramedics. 

"In my heart I knew what these people needed was a surgeon, not a paramedic," an emotional Stockdale told the coroner's court. 

"They needed to be in hospital and we, as a group, we knew that." 

Families of the perished want to know why the specialist equipment outside wasn't taken inside and immediate first aid given.  

"I think it's really important to understand for the families to understand... we weren't in a position where we could just wheel a stretcher into the prayer room," Stockdale said. "The hallway had several bodies littered down it.  

"We were stepping over bodies to extricate those victims." 

The half hour delay to even get any ambulance staff to the injured and dying has so far been a big part of the inquest, and Stockdale said if a similar event happened tomorrow, St John would once again rely on staff breaking policy and trusting their instincts to help patients anyway.  

Watch the full video for more.