Three of New Zealand's ambulance communication centres are now staffed by qualified paramedics.
A clinical desk has been established at the combined St John and Wellington Free Ambulance Communications Centre, with full-time paramedics available to support emergency call takers, dispatchers and front line staff.
The Auckland clinical desk began its service in February, while the Wellington and Christchurch desks started their work in late July.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says the clinical desks are to be staffed by paramedics who are qualified at the highest level of advanced life support.
"Our ambulance staff now have immediate access to clinical advice and support while they work quickly to provide emergency care to patients. The desks will ensure each patient gets the most appropriate emergency care and will help save more lives," Ryall said.
The Government has invested around $1 million to establish and run the clinical desks.
Ryall believes that in the event of a disaster the clinical support desks will "play a vital role in ensuring the best possible use of resources".
The initiative is part of the National Ambulance Services Strategy and relies on contributions from Ambulance New Zealand, St John, the air ambulance sector and National Ambulance Sector Office.