When someone dials 111 for an ambulance, the call comes into a Clinical Control Centre.

While essential facts are recorded, the Emergency Medical Dispatcher provides a calm voice, reassurance that help will be arranged and gathers necessary information to arrange the help that is needed.

Around the clock service

A 111 call for an ambulance comes into one of three call receiving centres in New Zealand. St John manages the Clinical Control Centres in Auckland and Christchurch and is in a joint venture in the third Emergency Ambulance Communication Centre in Wellington, with Wellington Free Ambulance. These centres take calls and dispatch ambulances, emergency vehicles and air ambulance (helicopters) - for all of New Zealand.

The three centres are all connected together and are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by Emergency Medical Dispatchers who are ready to cope with any kind of medical emergency.

Ready for anything

The next call could be a concerned parent looking after a slightly unwell child or a vehicle accident involving horrific injuries. Training ensures that St John Emergency Medical Dispatchers are prepared for every possibility.

A special kind of person

Our team is made up of people who can stay calm and focussed while dealing professionally with an emotionally charged call. Our Emergency Medical Dispatchers are trained to work with internationally recognised tools to provide our patients with the help they need.

Nicky Green has ‘delivered’ at least five babies by phone during her career at the Clinical Control Centre in Auckland. Today she’s has progressed to be the Development and Performance Improvement Manager and leads the team that teaches new recruits before they join one of our Centres.

You’ll get a mother screaming because her baby’s not breathing, but you have to detach yourself from the emotion. Other callers may have minor complaints or, as with some elderly people, something may be seriously wrong but they’re reluctant to ‘be a problem’. All calls are potentially life-threatening and have to be handled as such.”

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