Help at hand during summer months
A service for revellers needing time out or medical help in the central city is back for summer.
The SafeZone is somewhere party-goers can go to if they have over indulged in alcohol or drugs, are injured, or are concerned about their safety.
It’s a joint initiative of the Auckland Council, St John, ACC and the Red Frogs youth volunteers.
Ambulance callouts tend to peak around midDecember and over the new year period in central Auckland when crews respond to around 50 to 60 incidents between 12am and 6am.
Crews are called to an average of 29 incidents in that time outside of the peak period.
The SafeZone concept was trialled in March. More than 600 people visited it and 88 people were treated by St John staff during the four weeks. Nearly all of those who were treated were drunk.
St John Auckland District operations manager Derek Liefting says the SafeZone is valuable because it frees up resources. Patients can be treated on site and collected by family or friends rather than taken to hospital.
‘‘This is a real advantage because it allows ambulances and crews to be available for more critical jobs, like a cardiac arrest.
‘‘It also prevents vulnerable people becoming potential victims of violence and in need of more serious medical attention.’’
St John has been gifted a six-berth mobile home as a base for all SafeZone staff and volunteers.
Centrepiece: The SafeZone truck will be on Queens Wharf during December and January to help those who have overindulged.