St John ambulance officers were busy on Waiheke in 2020 despite the Covid-19 lockdowns.
During the last calendar year, St John responded to 1204 incidents. Although this was an eight percent decrease from 2019, where St John Waiheke was called to 1328 incidents, ambulance officers say they now have to deal with more and more patients with complex health issues, which has lengthened the total time of each call-out, and this continues to get longer.
“While the reduced movement of Kiwis during lockdown saw a drop in trauma-related accidents, our ambulance officers have remained just as busy,” says St John Auckland Central Territory Manager, Braden Stark.
The data shows the top five reasons for an ambulance call-out were referrals by GPs, falls/back injuries, breathing problems, chest pain, and people unconscious or passing out.
Data from St John also shows that in the past year, Fullers360 has helped St John to transport 372 patients from Waiheke to the mainland, free of charge. In 2019, the company transported 485 patients, and 337 in 2018. Fullers also provides free daily transport for St John staff to and from Waiheke Island to crew the ambulance.
“We are very grateful to the generosity of the public and businesses who have supported us over the past year. We want to thank Fullers360 for their ongoing support with taking patients and staff between Waiheke and Auckland City. With summer being our peak, they help us tremendously by transporting at least one patient a day throughout the season,” says Mr Stark.
Another supporter, SeaLink, has raised close to $7000 for the emergency ambulance service in the past few months.