Wellington Free Ambulance

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Wellington Free Ambulance
Wellington Free Ambulance logo.svg
WFA logo
Formation 9 November 1927
Type Charitable organisation
Headquarters 19 Davis Street,
Location  New Zealand
Chief Executive Officer Diana Crossan
Budget ~NZ$21 M
Staff 147 paramedics, 60 volunteer paramedics, 43 patient transfer staff, 41 emergency call takers, 60 support staff
Website www.wfa.org.nz
The new Wellington Free Ambulance base

The Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA) provides free to the patient ambulance services in the Greater Wellington Region of New Zealand.


The ambulance service was created on 9 November 1927 by the mayor of Wellington, Sir Charles Norwood, and initially operated out of the Old Navals boatshed. The service moved into a purpose built station on Cable Street in 1932, with Lord Bledisloe laying the foundation stone. The board created a long service medal for staff in 1956, for twelve (later ten) years service.[1] In 1994 Prince Charles opened the new ambulance station in Davis Street, Thorndon, after a major fundraising drive.[2]

Former base in Cable Street

A WFA officer was accidentally shot in the leg by police during an AOS exercise on 27 July 2002.[3]

On 8 September 2005 an ambulance belonging to the service was stolen during a call-out, the vehicle was found crashed on its side at nearby intersection.[4]

Thieves stole $5,000 worth of equipment and caused $15,000 damage to a WFA vehicle in November 2007.[5]


A Mitsubishi Pajero of the Wellington Free Ambulance
A Mercedes Sprinter of the Wellington Free Ambulance - Emergency Ambulance Service
A Mercedes Sprinter of the Wellington Free Ambulance - Patient Transfer Service
A Mitsubishi Outlander of the Wellington Free Ambulance - Patient Transfer Service
Wellington Free Ambulance Rescue 1

The service annually assists nearly 74,000 patients in the Greater Wellington Region. The headquarters includes vehicle maintenance facilities, and a communications centre - one of three in the national network.[6]


The cost of running the service in 2013 was $21M. 80% of this cost is met by the Ministry of Health and the Accident Compensation Corporation.[7][8] The remainder comes from donations and bequests from the public, proceeds from first aid training and supplies, and medical alarms.


As of 2014 the service has the following resources:[7]

  • 10 ambulance stations
  • 25 ambulances
  • 3 emergency fast response vehicles
  • 2 4WD rescue vehicles
  • 17 patient transport vehicles
  • 6 events ambulances
  • 1 Urgent Community Care vehicle
  • 1 major incident response truck
  • 2 major incident response trailers


  • Beasley, A.W. (1995). Borne Free - Wellington Free Ambulance 1927-1994. Grantham House. ISBN 1-86934-047-7. 
  1. ^ "New Zealand: Medals Awarded by Organisations - The Wellington Free Ambulance Service Long Service Medal". Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Still Free After 80 Years". Northern Courier. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-11-12. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Ambulance officer shot in AOS exercise". New Zealand Herald. 2002-07-30. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  4. ^ "Ambulance theft 'stupid'". New Zealand Herald. 9 September 2005. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Ambulance raided while on call out in Petone". Yahoo! Xtra News. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-12. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Wellington Free Ambulance". Community News. Retrieved 2007-11-12. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Annual Report". Wellington Free Ambulance. 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  8. ^ "How we help". Accident Compensation Corporation. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 

External links[edit]