Patients continue to be reassured that help and support is readily available thanks to the ongoing partnership between Wellington Free and Freedom Medical Alarms.

The service connects patients directly to the Wellington Free Ambulance Clinical Communication Centre and the highly-trained Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) at the push of a button.

Waikanae resident Marie Blackford had a Freedom Medical Alarm installed for comfort and reassurance, as she became more aware her health was declining. But it wasn’t until she actually had to push the button that she realised just how valuable it was.

Marie was going about her day-to-day routines when she experienced a sudden and excruciating pain in her chest.

She’d been a nurse for a number of years and thought it could be heartburn however, this was not the case.

Marie was having a heart attack.

She reached for her medical alarm and within moments of pushing the button, Wellington Free Ambulance, jumped into action.

“The main thing was having that voice answer; I was alone but the voice was enough to know someone was there and help was on its way,” Marie explains.

When a Freedom Medical Alarm is activated, an EMD opens the patient’s file containing all the details they need to make contact. The EMD calls the patient back and through the speaker unit at the patients home they can work out what’s happening and what help they need.

In Marie’s case it was serious; she needed help urgently. The EMD managed to speak to Marie and let her know an ambulance was on its way.

In unison, Wellington Free and the fire service arrived, with the LifeFlight helicopter also on its way.

Marie says she tried to stay very calm. “I just knew I was in good hands.

The ambulance crew continued to treat and monitor Marie before transferring her into the helicopter and flying to Wellington Regional Hospital where she received the help she needed.

Since this day, Marie has used her Freedom Medical Alarm on a couple of occasions; thankfully for nothing as major.

“When living alone it’s nice to feel safe. My family can also have the peace of mind that if they’re busy, help is just one push of a button away.”

Story supplied by Wellington Free Ambulance