Books to dispel children's fears of ambulances
A volunteer ambulance officer hopes to dispel children's fears of ambulances with a series of books.
Francine Currie, of Tapawera, near Nelson, launched two Sam the Ambulance books last month.
"There were heaps of books about fire engines and things, but nothing about ambulances."
Currie, a volunteer ambulance officer for six years, often worked at events where children were "fascinated" by ambulances.
"At events when there's not much happening, the kids come in and check it out," she said.
For many children, she said, the only time they learnt about ambulances was when they or family members were being transported in one.
"The whole thing's terribly frightening."
She hoped the books would help children recognise ambulances and paramedics as not being scary.
The books were inspired by the daughter of a former colleague diagnosed with cancer.
Currie had worked with 4-year-old Anja's father, Blair Andrews, who is an advanced paramedic.
Anja was diagnosed with leukaemia aged two years and is on her last round of treatment, due to finish in February.
"I thought of doing something for Anja and I had always wanted to write a book," Currie said.
A percentage of the profits made from sales of the books will go to the Child Cancer Foundation.