Mass casualty tents are being rolled out in Wellington a week ahead of the first Lions game.

Wellington Free Ambulance staff and volunteers practiced installing a triage tent filled with stretchers and equipment at their Lower Hutt base yesterday.

It will be used in one of the street hospitals on Courtenay Place and Tory Street, which are being set up to deal with the influx of fans.

About 50 Wellington Free Ambulance members will be working each night to make sure things go smoothly.


Emergency management planner Andrew Keenan said it was good practice for handling events like some of the recent terrorist attacks in London.

He said people needed assurance authorities could handle a situation like that here.

Keenan said the hospitals could be dealing with up to 40 patients each on a game night.

He said about 30 Wellington Free Ambulance volunteers would be stationed at various positions across the city on game night, including the street hospitals.

Wellington Free Ambulance events and volunteer manager Chris Buckley said some of the volunteers were medical students.

He said the Lions Tour was the biggest event some of them had been involved with.

"They're really excited, especially with this one because of the profile, they're all rearing to go, they're all going the extra mile to help us be prepared. I think it's looking pretty good."

Buckley said volunteers would be dealing with intoxicated patrons, medical mishaps and people who just needed help finding their way around the city.

"They're ready to go for anything the public are willing to throw at them."

Volunteer Andre Brown said people usually looked to uniforms for help even if it did not involve anything medical.

"People might come up to us even for a chat, see how their night's going. It's always fun having a talk to people."

Then there's people who ask for directions... a lot of us are locals so we do know the area quite well."

He said volunteers would also be checking ambulances this week to make sure drugs were up to date, stocks were replenished and the right equipment was there.

"I do like the big events because you get exposed to a huge amount of people and I feel there's a great lot of satisfaction when you can help people. Some things might be really simple such as giving out a plaster", he said.