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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 work on the rescue helicopter

Team work on the rescue helicopter

Serah has a unique job at Wellington Free. She’s one of our Flight Paramedics and a crucial member of Life Flight’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew.

Flight Paramedic Serah

Since joining the team in 2002 Serah has continued her training through various clinical qualifications. She started her flight paramedic training in 2015, with the last stage involving a simulated rescue from a boat earlier this year.

“It’s a lot different to being in an ambulance because you need to plan further ahead to address the challenges of noise, turbulence, cramped working environment, and inability to pull over to the side of the road if an emergency occurs,” Serah explains.

 “You have to learn to be comfortable escaping a sinking, upside down helicopter in the dark and be comfortable stepping out of a helicopter high above the ground, trusting all of the safety checks have been done. You have to become comfortable with some of the most complex, pre-hospital procedures performed by ambulance personnel worldwide and learn to direct a team at a moment’s notice so you can help breathe for an unconscious patient with a compromised airway,” she says.

One of the more memorable rescues involved an injured hunter in the Tararua Ranges. Due to fading light, the pilot and crewman needed night vision goggles to safely hoist Serah and the hunter through a narrow opening in the trees as a storm approached. Serah explains the job required everyone on board to work as a team to ensure the rescue was successful.

“I love it because the role challenges me to improve the care I provide for all my patients, and expands the range of environments in which I can provide that care.” Says Serah.

Wellington Free and Life Flight are two emergency services that are there to provide and get you to the specialist care you might need.



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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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