Wellington Free Ambulance Service provides free to the patient emergency ambulance paramedic services to the region of greater Wellington, including Wellington, the Kapiti Coast (to Waikanae), Upper Hutt (to the top of the Rimutakas), Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata and Porirua.
Operationally they cover a population of 450,000 people, living in an area of 290 square kilometres (28,990 hectares). We operate from nine ambulance stations, including Newtown, Thorndon (also our Headquarters and Fleet services Workshop), Johnsonville, Lower and Upper Hutt, Porirua, Paraparaumu, two operational bases in Waikanae and Wainuiomata and a response post on the Wellington Waterfront.
A typical ambulance crew is made up of two paramedics, who are assigned to an ambulance that operates out of one of these ambulance stations. The paramedic crews communicate with Central Comms, who direct them to assist at a wide range of medical and trauma emergencies throughout the greater Wellington area.
Our Ministry of Health contract requires an ambulance to be located at a life threatening emergency within 8 minutes 50% of the time, from when the Emergency Ambulance Communications Centre has enough information to dispatch an ambulance in urban areas.
In a rural area, we are required to achieve a response within 19 minutes, 50% of the time. The difference between urban and rural is a town population of 15,000 or less being classified as rural. The majority of the Wellington Free Ambulance response area is considered urban.