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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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Team rescue response at Putangirua Pinnacles

Team rescue response at Putangirua Pinnacles

When rescue Paramedic and Wairarapa Land Search and Rescue volunteer Matt’s pager went off earlier this year, he knew his day was about to change.

Our team working together to plan the extrication of a patient during a rescue job.

A patient had fell and injured themselves at the Putangirua Pinnacles, a spot notorious for incidents. This required a specialist response. Immediately Matt and a team of others responded.

The patient was eventually located along a narrow track; but they had serious injuries that required immediate medical treatment and care from Matt.

Together with the NZ Police search and rescue team and using specialist rescue extrication aid, Matt was able to transport the patient to an opening along the nearby river bed. From here, they were flown to hospital by the waiting helicopter.

Matt says operating at a rescue incident is a more extreme version of working in an ambulance.

“In both roles you have to adapt to constant changes in your environment, think outside the box, have multiple back-up plans, and rely on yourself and the team around you.”

Before heading into the bush Matt always considers these essential questions, and encourages you to do the same:

  • Have I got a means of contacting help? Do I have a personal locator beacon (PLB)?

  • Am I prepared to stay an extra night…or two? Do I have extra clothes, shelter, water, food?

  • Who have I told my plans to? Do they know when to raise the alarm if I’m not back?

  • Do I have a map and what is the weather doing over the next few days? 



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

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0800 555 050


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