An emergency is a stressful situation for anyone. You need to act quickly and decisively. Often getting emergency services to the scene as soon as possible can make a great deal of difference to the outcome.

If you come across an accident or emergency, or if your child is involved in one, there are some simple but very important things you need to do.

Calling an ambulance

Our thanks to St John for the information in this section.


  • Phone 111
  • Ask for Ambulance
  • Keep calm. Be clear
  • Tell them where
  • Tell them who
  • Tell them what

To call for an ambulance in an emergency phone 111, including from mobile phones.

People with impaired hearing phone 0800 16 16 16 (text phone only) or fax 0800 16 16 10. There is a 111 TXT service for the Deaf and hearing impaired who register with Police through Deaf Aotearoa.

Phone 111

You can call this emergency number 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any phone, including a mobile phone. If you have a pre-paid mobile phone, and you have run out of airtime, you can still phone 111 and you will be connected.

Ask for an ambulance

When the operator answers, ask for Ambulance. You will be put through to the relevant Ambulance Communications Centre. The person who answers your call will state "Ambulance" and ask "Where is your emergency?"

Keep calm, be clear

It is very important that you give the details that the ambulance staff need to do their work calmly and clearly, so that there are no misunderstandings and the ambulance team can be fully briefed as they respond to your call.

Say where you are

Tell the operator where you are first, so that an ambulance can be despatched to you immediately. It is important to know the street name and number if possible and the closest side street and the suburb and city or town you are in. If you are on a main road say approximately how far you are from the nearest town or landmark.

Say who you are & phone number

Say who you are and the phone number of the address you are calling from as this will help locate your house or location on our maps and give emergency services the means of ringing you back for more information or to give advice.

Say what has happened

Tell the operator what has happened so that the most appropriate resources can be sent to your assistance and enable emergency services staff to offer you advice about what to do before their arrival. You will be prompted for information. Please answer these questions if you know the answers.

For example:

  • it is important to know if the person is conscious or awake
  • any dangers at the scene that we need to be aware of (such as fallen electricity lines)
  • any medical information about those who have been injured that will help (example, anyone who is pregnant or has asthma, epilepsy, or a heart condition)
  • and what happened leading up to the emergency.

If it is at night turn on all of your internal and external lights and send an adult to the gate to guide the responding ambulance staff.

For help and advice call PlunketLine 0800 933 922, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If your child is sick please call Healthline, 0800 611 116, New Zealand's 24-hour telephone health advice service. All calls are answered by registered nurses.
In an emergency phone 111.
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