How you can you help the ambulance service
Trim the hedges, make sure your house number is visible from the road and consider extra outside lighting so that when minutes matter, Wellington Free Ambulance can reach you quickly and safely.
The ambulance service responded to 2515 callouts on the Kapiti Coast and in Porirua during the past 12 months.
That’s an average of 48 each week.
Service delivery manager Rob Ives said there were things everyone could do to assist paramedics.
‘‘You hope you never have to make the call, but just like having an earthquake kit or installing smoke alarms, you need to be ready when you have to dial 111,’’ he said.
‘‘ The Kapiti Coast region includes a large rural area, which means dark country roads, long driveways and the use of local names for locations, alongside official names.
‘‘If your mates or tradespeople have trouble finding your property, you probably need to think about how you can make things easier for all visitors who may need to locate you.’’
Mr Ives said Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics and the 111 operators who direct them were very experienced at locating patients and properties, and used the most sophisticated mapping systems available.
‘‘We will find you. But there are things you can do to make our job easier when time is precious and we need to get to you quickly.
‘‘For rural property owners, that means considering lighting on driveways, knowing your RAPID number and displaying it on your gate so we can easily read it from the road.
‘‘It’s also a good idea to keep any animals clear of the drive- way up to your house.’’
He said everybody, no matter where they lived, should ensure their hedges were trimmed, the path to their house was free of moss or anything that could cause someone to slip and any extra obstacles were removed.
‘‘Turn the lights on so we can see where we’re going at night. It’s pretty simple stuff, but there are a few small things that will help us help you.
‘‘If you only do one thing, make sure there is someone outside the property to wave out or direct the paramedics.
‘‘It’ll speed things up and you can let us know about any stairs we’ll need to negotiate, exactly where the patient is and how we can access the house.’’
Help needed: Wellington Free Ambulance is a great service, but there are ways you can help improve it.