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We are the only emergency ambulance service in greater Wellington and the Wairarapa, and the only ones in the country who are free.

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We are the only emergency ambulance service in greater Wellington and the Wairarapa, and the only ones in the country who are free.

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Meet Graduate Paramedic Eden

Meet Graduate Paramedic Eden

Meet Graduate Paramedic Eden

Eden joined Wellington Free Ambulance 12 months ago in our graduate programme and has an obvious determination to save and change lives – it’s clear from her big, warm smile!

A young woman in a green paramedic uniform sits inside an ambulanceOriginally from Australia, Eden was told about us through a strange coincidence. A Wellington Free paramedic had returned home to Australia and her mum knew Eden’s mum. One day they got talking about their daughters who both happened to be paramedics – one looking for a job, one just returned from Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand... with some perfect timing, when Eden looked us up online, she saw our graduate intake was open.

At her interview she was impressed by our ‘caring, family feel’ and happily accepted her place on the graduate programme.

The road to paramedicine

Volunteering during a gap year confirmed Eden’s wish to have a career with purpose, something she’s wanted to do since childhood.

“Helping to renovate a residence for street kids in Ethiopia was really eye opening, seeing the poverty and challenges for these young people made me realise how important family support, good employment options and education are. It made me really committed to having a skill set that would help people.”

Fast forward 5 years and Eden is now realising that childhood dream in our graduate programme, working closely with an experienced paramedic supervisor to apply what she learnt in her study to the real-world of emergency ambulances.

“It’s such an honour to have people welcome us into their homes to help and be part of their lives for a short time. It would be really easy to be sad all the time in the work and world we see. I focus on what we can do to help them now and I always think about if this was my mum, dad, sister, or brother.”

“Our ambulance is our office, our treatment centre and safe space”

People are at the heart of Wellington Free – ours, and the ones we’ve privileged enough to look after. For front-line staff like Eden, vehicles and equipment are absolutely essential to our work in the community.

As Eden explains:

“Our ambulance is our office, our treatment centre and safe space. A tutor during our study used the example that a paramedic without a fully equipped ambulance is a first aider. Yes, you can do CPR, you have knowledge but there isn’t much else you can do to help someone who is really unwell. Our vehicle gets us to the community.

“I recall we attended a patient who had fallen into the water from a wharf, it was really public and there was a crowd gathering, despite the freezing cold day. People were even taking photos.

“Having the ambulance meant we could de-escalate this stressful situation for the patient. We took them into the ambulance and helped them out of their wet clothes, got them warm with blankets and then did a full assessment in privacy. It de-escalated the busy and stressful environment for them and enabled them to receive our undivided time and clinical care.

“The ambulance is the make or break to every incident we attend.”

The variety of paramedic life

Eden thrives on the variety of her job in which no two days – or patients – are the same. She remembers responding to a patient who was having difficulty breathing, who was adamant they didn’t want to go to hospital or the medication that was in their best interest. Eden “quickly realised that they might have had a previous similar experience and was feeling frustrated and possibly frightened. I spent time explaining really simply, using the screen on our monitor to explain what was happening and what I wanted to achieve by giving them the medication. They needed to be listened to and in control.

“As soon as I get to a patient, I want them to feel safe and listened to in my care. It’s such an honour to be part of their lives and to help patients in their most vulnerable time.

“I believe my role is never a sacrifice, always a service.”

If you’d like to ensure our people always have the vehicles and equipment they need, please donate online at www.supportwfa.org.nz 



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You Rights & More info


Your Rights

As our patient, and under the Health and Disability Commissioner’s Code of Rights, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect
  • Be fully informed
  • Freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment and exploitation
  • dignity and independence
  • Services of an appropriate standard
  • Effective communication
  • Be fully informed
  • Make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • Support
  • Respect of teaching or research
  • Complain

If we don’t respect these, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to put it right.

Support in the process

If you need support or help with making a complaint, you can contact the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner and ask for an advocate.

0800 555 050


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