Gerard Campbell |


While holiday makers relax and prepare to celebrate a new decade, St John ambulance officers are gearing up for a busy New Year’s Eve across the country. 

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 across the country and 80 additional response vehicles ready to attend to the public.

Callouts peak between 10pm and 3am, with the many of the calls being alcohol related. Last year, St John received 625 111 calls over the five-hour period.  As a comparison, during winter, usually our busiest time of the year, we attended on average 170 emergency ambulance callouts between 10pm and 3am.

St John Director of Operations, Norma Lane, says St John is likely to respond to several hundred calls during this four-hour period, with intoxication and substance abuse contributing to many ambulance call outs. Falls and assaults also increase over the New Year period.  

“We ask people to drink sensibly and make sure everyone gets home safely. Have a plan before heading out, don’t drink and drive, drink plenty of water during the night, and please don’t leave an intoxicated person on their own.”

Over a third of calls on New Year’s Eve involve alcohol, with people passing out, assaults, traumatic injuries and motor vehicles crashes making up over 30% of ambulance call outs. The most common callouts over New Year’s Eve last year were unconsciousness and falls, traumatic injuries, breathing problems and assaults.

With many New Zealanders heading to the beaches over the summer, Ms Lane also advised people to take care around water, especially those with young children. “Water can be extremely unpredictable so please take care of yourself and look out for others when at the beach or around water this summer,” she says.

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



Gerard Campbell

St John Communications Advisor

M 027 567 2083


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