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Seasonal cold raises call-outs



The winter freeze that crept over the country in the last month resulted in a significant surge in 111 calls for an emergency service, with one busy week even surpassing call-out numbers since the organisation first held records.

A recently released St John media statement shows the months of July and August are traditionally the most demanding time of the year for the service, where the number of emergency ambulance responses rise from a nationwide average 1170 incidents per day to 1333.

However the week of July 9 saw the daily numbers jump to 1373, making the week the busiest in St John history.

The number of 111 calls for ambulance services throughout June and July were 8 percent higher than the same time last year with local St John services following the trend.

Mangawhai station manager, Andrew Mumford, says the workload in the area shows a 56 percent increase from last year.

“There were 50 emergency ambulance calls in Mangawhai in June 2017, compared with 32 in June 2016,” he says. “Seventeen of the 50 local calls were attended by volunteers from Mangawhai and the remainder were attended by crews from Bream Bay, Kaiwaka, and Maungaturoto or further afield. In turn, volunteers from Mangawhai attended 14 calls outside of our local area in June, a total of 31 calls for the month.”

While sports injuries and holiday activities such as skiing add to winter call-outs, St John data shows this season there was an increase in patients seeking assistance with breathing problems, influenza-type symptoms, and general illness.

“Winter health issues tend to have greatest impact on vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young,” Mumford says. “Our advice is for people to dress warmly, drive to the conditions, make welfare checks on elderly neighbours and make sure your regular prescriptions are filled.”

n To learn more about volunteering with St John, please contact Andrew (09) 358 4754, or email andrew.mumford@stjohn.org.nz.


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