Wellington Free Ambulance Onesie Day street appeal canned again because of COVID-19

Wellington Free Ambulance's annual Onesie Day street appeal has been canned for the second year in a row thanks to COVID-19.

It comes at a bad time, as its paramedics face their busiest year on record - about 100,000 calls have been taken already this year.

"That's 10 percent greater than last year and 10-15 percent on the year before that... and that's even before we start talking about COVID," CEO David Robinson says.

That's thanks in part to a 150 percent spike in respiratory-related callouts.

"Winter demand does increase due to seasonality, I think there's a heightened awareness with COVID and all that it has brought," Robinson says.

This lockdown is also much busier than last time, those on the frontline are taking extra precautions.

"Depending on the job notes we get we wear more appropriate PPE, whether that's the masks, the goggles, face shields, aprons and the different masks as well," paramedic James Currie says.

With the annual street appeal entirely online thanks to COVID-19, they were expecting a massive shortfall.

Wellington Free Ambulance hopes to raise $250,000 to get a brand new ambulance. It retires them every 350,000km which is around every three-and-a-half years.