Lizzie Johnston |

Hato Hone St John is bolstering ambulance resources in Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula in preparation for more adverse weather expected to hit the upper North Island in the coming days.

HHSJ National Ambulance Controller, Dave Richards, says that Hato Hone St John is well-placed to deal with the weather events and has been proactively moving resources into the areas that are predicted to bear the brunt of the second storm.

“In Northland, we have increased the number of ambulance crews in Kaitaia, and have deployed our Major Incident Support Team, with additional medical supplies and resources,” Mr Richards says.

“We are also working alongside the New Zealand Defence Force, have access to three Unimog vehicles to enable us to access patients living in hard-to-reach places and have supplied clinical personnel to support Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams deployed in the area.”

Mr Richards says that on the Coromandel Peninsula, Hato Hone St John has increased the number of ambulance crews in Whitianga and Whangamatā including an additional Critical Care Paramedic to provide advanced skills, if these are needed.

“We have also deployed an additional all-wheel drive First Response Unit.”

Patient safety at home has been a key priority throughout the emergency.

“Where possible, frontline staff have assessed and treated patients at the scene to avoid transportation through severe flooding.”

Mr Richards says to support this, additional staff have been rostered into the Communications Centre’s Clinical Support team to review incidents and provide telephone support to crews on scene and clinical telephone advice to patients.

Over the Auckland Anniversary long weekend, Hato Hone St John supported Emergency Operations Centres with our frontline teams attending over 2300 incidents.

“We would like to thank all our people who have worked tirelessly to support communities, whether directly or indirectly. From our communication centres to our ambulance and clinical staff, our staff have gone above and beyond to help people during this challenging period.”

People can do several things to keep themselves safe and well during adverse weather events. These include:

  • Ensuring their prescription medications are filled and up to date in case they do become isolated or cut off due to slips or flooding.
  • People should keep in contact with their local health provider if they do become unwell and phone 111 in an emergency.
  • Look out for their neighbours and check in on them, particularly the elderly or those who live alone.
  • Follow any updates from the local emergency management organisation.



Notes to the editor – Unimog is a multi-purpose vehicle used to navigate difficult terrain.



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