What we do

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

About Us

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

Work With Us

Here for you this summer

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Here for you this summer

As we head into summer it’s a great opportunity to get outside and explore all that our beautiful region has to offer, while staying safe and well whatever your plans are this summer season.

Staying well

We hope you are looking forward to the summer months and enjoying the sunshine. Hopefully you don’t need to call us, but if you do, be assured we’ll work with you to provide the best possible care in the best possible time.

To help you look after yourself and your whānau this summer we have put together some helpful tips below.

Out in the water

If you’re heading to the beach be aware of tides and rips, and only swim between the flags.  Keep a watchful eye on anyone in the water, particularly children, and always wear a lifejacket if you're out on the water. For more advice on keeping safe around water see Water safety NZ and Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Take care in the sun

Take care in the sun, protect yourself and your whānau from the sun’s harmful rays with a high SPF sunscreen and re-apply regularly. Wear a hat outside and remember to protect your eyes with sunglasses. Find some shade to avoid overheating and drink plenty of water. You don't have to feel hot or puffed out to be thirsty. Be sure to drink plenty of water every day . See the Sun Protection Alert for the most crucial times each day to protect your skin and eyes.

Stay safe outdoors

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, whether you are out on your scooter, skateboard or bike always wear safety gear. If you are heading into the bush always take a personal locator beacon with you, adequate supplies and warm clothing - stay aware of changes in weather - tell someone your plans – where you are going and when you are due back. See the Department of Conservation’s ‘know before you go’. 

Fire safety

With long summer days and nights comes barbeques, campfires and dry weather. Before lighting any campfires, consider the weather and conditions – you may need a permit and in some cases they are not permitted at all. Remove hazards or flammable items around barbeques areas, and your home. Keep looking while you’re cooking and make sure emergency services can access your property if they need to. For more advice see Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

On the road

With more people on the roads over summer it’s important to plan ahead. Drive fresh when you are well rested and hydrated, allowing plenty of time for your journey and regular breaks. Check your air conditioner is working before travelling long distances to help prevent you or your passengers from over heating.  Watch speed limits and following distances, drive sober and drive to the environment. Consider turning your cell phone off to ensure you aren't distracted.  For more about travelling safely visit New Zealand Transport Association (NZTA)

Stay well and be prepared

Remember to take it easy, keep up with regular exercise, eat balanced and healthy meals and be mindful of alcohol consumption. Stay safe and look after yourself. Have all your medications sorted and prescriptions picked up ahead of the holidays as some services made be closed for a period. Remember to practice good hand hygiene and be mindful of where you have travelled, consider using the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 tracer app.  

Make the call

It's always important to know where you are when you call 111 for help. Knowing your location, nearest main road or local landmarks is really helpful in identifying where you are. When you call 111 and ask for ambulance, the first question we'll ask is the exact address of your emergency.

 

What happens when you call:

When you call 111, the first thing we do is work out where you are and what is happening for you.

We will ask a series of questions to make sure we can get the best help to you in the best possible time. We repeat some questions to be sure we understand the nature of your emergency, where you are and what you need from us.

We will ask you:

  • Your street number, street name and suburb

  • The phone number you are calling from

  • What is happening for you

  • If you are helping someone else we will ask you if they are conscious and breathing.

Our call takers work with you to understand the seriousness of your condition and work out the best sort of help. The more life-threatening your condition, the greater priority we give your call.

If we are delayed we will call you back to find out if anything has changed, and see if there is anything we can do for you over the phone until an ambulance arrives.

Getting better together

Depending on how unwell you are, your medical history, and how much support you have from people around you we can help you a number of ways. With specialists on hand, we’ll work out the best help for you. Sometimes this will be an ambulance but often there are other ways we can help:

On-phone nurse

Our nurses from Homecare Medical will talk through your conditions or symptoms and offer advice and support around managing this. They are experienced to help with lower acuity emergencies and can organise an ambulance or a conversation with our Clinical Paramedic Advisors if needed.

On-phone paramedic

Our Clinical Paramedic Advisors will do an assessment over the phone, talking through your injury or illness. They will discuss with you the best options for medical care, organising a doctor’s appointment or arranging an ambulance to come and see you at home. Read more about how our advisors help you over the phone.

Extended care paramedics

Our extended care paramedics work in the Urgent Community Care team, aimed at helping you at home.  Paramedics work with you and your GP to help when an unexpected or urgent health need arises, that can be safely treated without a trip to hospital. Last year we celebrated 10 years of our Extended Care Paramedic team.

Emergency paramedics

The emergency paramedic team help people who are sick, injured or in a life threatening condition. Depending on how serious your situation is they might take you to hospital urgently, or they might be able to help manage your pain or illness at home. Their quick and responsive action is what helps save lives across our region.

Flight paramedics

Flight paramedics are the highly trained paramedics on board the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Our specially trained team knows when every second counts or we need to get emergency care to someone in a remote part of our region. Learn more about how our Flight Paramedics are crucial members of the crew.

Rescue squad

Rescue Squad team members are specially trained paramedics who work as part of our region’s search and rescue teams. They are equipped with four wheel drives, are highly qualified clinicians and sometimes trek for hours through bush day or night to reach people who are seriously injured.

Want to hear more from Wellington Free?

  

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You Rights & More info

Back

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.

www.hdc.org.nz
0800 555 050

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