Dunedin police officers and firefighters had to assist a
woman who collapsed in Cumberland St yesterday morning
because all St John ambulance crews were busy at the time.
The 44-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest outside CRT
about 8.30am, and emergency services were called.
Acting Senior Sergeant Damion Rangitutia said police officers
were first on the scene and administered CPR. A crew from the
central Dunedin fire station then arrived, followed by a St
John ambulance crew, and the woman was taken to Dunedin
St John South Island communications and promotions
co-ordinator Alena Lynch said St John received the 111 call
''All our ambulances were busy at the time so we dispatched
police and fire. The first ambulance to become available was
at 8.38am and it arrived at the scene at 8.41am,'' she said.
Paramedics treated the patient and transported her to
''Despite an ambulance being unavailable immediately
following the 111 call, it was a good joint effort between
emergency services,'' Ms Lynch said.
Four ambulances were based in Dunedin at three stations.
Each was at separate medical incidents and could not
immediately be dispatched to Cumberland St when the 111 call
''When there is a critical call like in this case, the
emergency centre in Christchurch sends out a message to all
ambulances in Dunedin asking if anyone can respond. If
someone's in an ambulance and able to respond, they will, but
if they are not in an ambulance and are treating another
patient, then police and fire [personnel] are immediately
dispatched to respond,'' Ms Lynch said.
It was unusual for all four Dunedin ambulances to be in use
and unable to respond to further emergencies at exactly the
same time, she said.
''It was just one of those unfortunate timing things. It's
very unusual to have all the ambulances tied up and then have
a cardiac arrest happen,'' she said.
Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken said last night the woman
remained in an induced coma in Dunedin Hospital's intensive