New Zealand’s Ambulance service is now able to offer a more user-friendly service to people who don’t speak English.
The emergency service’s three call centres around New Zealand have access to Language Line, an interpretation service offered by the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs. As part of this access, the call centre staff will be able to speak with callers in 42 different language, which include popular Indian, Asian and Pacific Island languages.
It means they (call centre staff) can now ensure, more accurately, the details of the help that’s required by the person who has made the emergency phone call, says a newsletter by the Office of Ethnic Affairs.
“Good communication in these circumstances can not only make a life or death difference, but also result in a more efficient use of ambulances.”
People who speak little or no English and who wish to get an ambulance should call 111 and when the operator answers request the ambulance service. When they get through to the ambulance they should say ‘Language Line’ followed by the name of the language they want for example ‘Language Line Mandarin’ or ‘Language Line Samoan’.
The list of languages offered by Language Line