St John ready for the busiest night of the year

NGAIRE JONES |

As we head into the summer holiday season, St John is preparing for the busiest night of the year. 

111 calls to the ambulance service triple on New Year’s Eve, and St John is all set to keep New Zealanders safe by planning extra resources for the big night, with over 105 additional frontline personnel, and 80 additional response vehicles ready to attend to the public.

Callouts peak between 10pm and 2am, with the increase being predominantly alcohol-related.

St John Director of Clinical Operations, Norma Lane, says St John is likely to respond to around 500 calls during this four-hour period, with many emergency callouts being preventable.

“We ask people to drink sensibly and make sure everyone gets home safely.  Don’t leave an intoxicated person on their own.”

Over a third of calls on New Year’s Eve are alcohol-related, with people passing out, assaults, traumatic injuries and motor vehicles crashes making up over 30% of ambulance call outs.

Ms Lane advises people to plan how they will get home before heading out.

“Don’t drink and drive, make sure you have a sober driver, and drink plenty of water”. 

Tony Devanney, St John Assistant Director of Operations, says having to deal with intoxicated people can be difficult for frontline staff.

“Intoxication and substance misuse contributes hugely to falls, injuries and assaults. St John ambulance officers are caring and non-judgmental professionals who are there to help but trying to treat someone vomiting over you, attacking you or being so incoherent or unconscious that the patient can’t explain what is wrong, complicates treatment and is not ideal.”

St John asks that you celebrate sensibly and wishes everyone a very safe and enjoyable New Year.

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