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Heat goes on ambo crews

Wellington Free Ambulance Wairarapa manager Nigel Watson said this weekend had been the busiest in a long time. PHOTO/FILE


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Ambulance crews have felt the heat in Wairarapa in recent days, “stretched” for one of the busiest weekends of the summer.

Wellington Free Ambulance Wairarapa manager Nigel Watson said the hot weather wasn’t the cause of problems but it got people into the outdoors where things can go wrong.

“I know last summer wasn’t too hot but this summer has been… I don’t think we have seen an increase in heat related incidents, but there have definitely been activities that people partake in the outdoors which leads to some more serious incidents,” Mr Watson said.

“When I say stretched, if you compare this weekend to any other weekend it has been a lot more steady.

“It has been job-to-job which is a little bit unusual for us.”

Saturday was a perfect example of how resources have been stretched with crews going from job to job as well as being present at local events, he said.

A car with two passengers drove into a ditch along Kahutara Rd, near Judds Rd, on Saturday afternoon.

The Westpac Life Flight helicopter assisted with the boating incident near Lake Wairarapa on Saturday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

A man in his early 20s was treated for moderate injuries, then transported to Wairarapa Hospital as a precaution.

Fire and ambulance both attended the crash at around 1.40pm.

Not long after, ambulance and the Life Flight helicopter were called to a horse riding incident at Whareama in rural Wairarapa.

A woman in her early 20s was thrown from her horse at around 3pm.

She was treated by paramedics and was taken to Wellington Hospital with a concussion and suspected spinal injuries.

Ambulance, fire crews and Life Flight helicopter then headed down Western Lake Rd at around 9pm after a report a woman was injured in a boating incident.

A young female in her early 20s received minor injuries and had difficulty breathing after an incident that involved a boat, Mr Watson said.

She was taken to Wellington Hospital by Life Flight helicopter in a stable condition.

During a normal 12-hour shift, an ambulance crew from each of the three ambulances can do anything between five to 15 jobs – that would be quite normal, Mr Watson said.

“But over the last few days we have been experiencing quite high volumes and high job numbers,” he said.

Westpac Life Flight helicopter was called to the region for two separate incidents on Saturday, with ambulance and fire crews stationed at local events, and attending a high number of unrelated events.

Mr Watson said all ambulance crews were geared up for a number of local events but were pushed to the limit after being called to a handful of incidents on Saturday.

Mr Watson said some crews were stationed at events such as Jumbo-Holdsworth Trail Race yesterday, and were on alert during Cruise Martinborough.

He was thankful for the cooler weather start to days over the weekend.

“Operating in high temperatures has been a challenge for us as well.”

Life Flight crewman Jodie Burton reminded those people making the most of the warmer weather to stay safe outdoors.

During a hot December last year, fire crews attended many vegetation fires due to the dry grass and searing temperatures during a ‘meteorological drought’.

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