Ambulance stories


4th April

Another amazing day in Wellington - how long can this last?? Cat pissed on the bed again, I think involuntary euthanasia is looming!!!  But trying to stay calm. And talking about calm, what is it with the DomPost doing a number on the Wellington Free Ambulance? - running yet another negative story about someone who nearly died because of alleged ambulance services ineptitude and how the staff at the hospital were “shocked”.

After ten years of trying to get media to shift the focus of their stories about Road Policing and run something positive for once, I know only too well how once the media gets on a roll of negative stories about one topic, they just repeat it as often and as long as possible. So many of my positive press releases never made it through but the negative stories could run for days.

And as for the Wellington Free Ambulance, yes FREE, we are so lucky and they’re so fantastic.

I counted up and I think over the last few years I have called an ambulance nine times, and we have been treated so incredibly well every single time. I can tell you, at two in the morning, making that terrified call and four minutes later to hear them pounding up the stairs, young, fit, kind and competent, with their backpacks and their stretchers, is something you need to experience to appreciate. The relief, someone to help and every time they have been calm, respectful and most certainly competent. Always erring on the side of caution as well, nobody has said anything like “get an ice pack’ to us.

And yet, when I called them to take my dying sister who was very very ill to hospital, nobody ran, nobody pounded. They came quietly into my house and gently and calmly took my sister with such kindness and delicacy. They always talk to Brian patiently and respectfully, even if he appears absolutely out of it.

I have been in the ambulance twice, exciting and scary, roaring through the streets with that siren going and watching the traffic part in front of you and every head turning to the sound as you flash by. But it takes bottle and fantastic driving skills to push through that traffic and still stay safe.

So, don’t start believing that you will get treated badly, maybe those people were just unlucky but I want to say, thank you, thank goodness for you all, the young fit strong boys who can carry Brian down three flights of stairs, the businesslike girls who drive like rally drivers and for the kindness and sincerity shown to me, the quaking, terrified mess on the sideline. L