About | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Saving Lives, Together.

Our aim is simple – to save lives.

Your rescue helicopter can be airborne in 10 minutes and, in a life or death situation, this speed and agility can make all the difference, with patients able to receive medical treatment whilst en route to a medical facility. The timely assistance that rescue helicopters provide can reduce disability and improve survival.  The sooner treatment begins, the greater the chance of patient recovery.

Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity responsible for fundraising and promotion of the North Island’s largest pool of community rescue helicopters.

Encompassing a fleet of rescue helicopters and fixed-wing planes, the service provides air health and rescue services free of charge to the public on a no-fault basis.

The rapid response is powered by an expert crew of Pilots, Crewmen, Intensive Care Paramedics, Doctors, Flight Nurses, and Specialist Crew.

In a life and death situation, it is this speed and agility that can make all the difference, with patients able to receive medical treatment whilst en route to a medical facility.

Dispatched through the 111-call system, our rapid response rescue helicopters bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel, with full-time Flight Paramedic workforce, all experienced Intensive Care Paramedics (ICP) directly to the patient.

Always rescue ready, your rescue helicopter is an essential emergency service in your community.

Your rescue helicopter can be called to any of the following missions:

  • Search and rescue missions
  • Operations requiring a winch
  • Night operations
  • Time-critical inter-hospital transfers
  • Armed Offender Squad / Land Search and Rescue / NZ Fire

When needed, your rescue helicopter will be there, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Westpac Air Ambulance

Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity responsible for fundraising and promotion of the nationally recognised Westpac Air Ambulance, an accredited provider of Level 1 and 2 aero-medical transport services.

Flying bedside to bedside, the highly experienced medical crew can accommodate up to two patients, non-stop, to any location in New Zealand.

Find out more at westpacairambulance.org.nz

Philips Search and Rescue Trust all began with one single act of compassion.

In 1985, two senior Philips executives and a pilot lost their lives in a light aircraft accident, just south of Turangi. Philips instigated at that time, what was and probably still is, New Zealand’s largest privately organised search, which eventually found the lost aircraft.

After their loss, it became apparent to Philips that if a rescue service had been available, their executives and pilot may have survived. So, as a legacy to the country, Philips endowed what was to become Philips Search and Rescue Trust (PSRT), with the objective of providing the highest possible standard of air rescue and emergency helicopters to serve the people of the central North Island and wider areas of New Zealand.

Flight operations commenced in 1985, with a single-engine, part-time helicopter based in Taupo, which quickly gained a reputation as an effective operational unit, particularly within the specialist search and rescue field.

In October 1987, PSRT was made a dedicated, full-time rescue service, and is now the charity responsible for the North Island’s largest group of rescue helicopters.

Over 30 years on from that fatal flight, PSRT continues to provide rescue helicopter services, free of charge to patients, funded largely by the communities we operated in.

Over 35,000 people owe their lives to PSRT rescue helicopters.

Steven Mair

Intensive Care Paramedic

Michael Lowe

Intensive Care Paramedic

Dave Helliwell

Crewman

Hugo Goodson

Intensive Care Paramedic

Paul Aitken

Pilot

Muir Wallace

Medical Director

Mike Adair

Pilot

Spence Putwain

Pilot

Mo Shaik

Crewman

Stu Callow

Crewman

Dave Jackson

Crewman

Rick Elms

Intensive Care Paramedic

Tony Hohepa

Intensive Care Paramedic

Andy Windle

Intensive Care Paramedic

Brody Macbeth

Intensive Care Paramedic

Loren Haisley

Pilot

Barry Vincent

VFR Chief Pilot

Grant Bremner

Chief Pilot

Dan Harcourt

Pilot

Charlie Beetham

Pilot

Bill McNeilly

Base Manager/Crewman

Simon Burrows

Intensive Care Paramedic

Byron Hodge

Crewman

Kelley Waite

Crewman

Liam Brettkelly

Base Manager/Pilot

Todd Dunham

Pilot

Hendry de Waal

Pilot

Iain Gulliford

Crewman

Dave Harrison

Intensive Care Paramedic

Gillian Gates

Intensive Care Paramedic

Nigel Bryant

Intensive Care Paramedic

Bernie McQueen

Pilot

Aeron Mellish

Crewman

Nat Every

Base Manager/Pilot

Mark Bond

Crewman

Rob Keating

Intensive Care Paramedic

Tony More

Intensive Care Paramedic

Libbie Faith

Crewman

Pete Masters

Pilot

Ross Murrell

Pilot

Nick Stratton

Pilot

Dewet Pienaar

Intensive Care Paramedic

Chris Moody

Chief Operating Officer

Lance Burns

Pilot

Graeme Spiers

Base Manager/Crewman

Neil Chappell

Crewman

Felicity Lallier

Intensive Care Paramedic

David Wickham

Secretary

Errol Millar

Executive Chairman

Terry Burcher

Trustee

Patricia Bayley

Trustee

Stewart Davies

Trustee

Sam Leuthart-Tomlinson

Fundraising Assistant/Intern

Alex Paley

Marketing Assistant/Intern

Jenna Irwin

Administrator

Whitney Smith

Fundraising Manager

John Curray

Administrator

Jex Moore

Fundraiser

Ashlea Murphy

Fundraiser

Angela Cranfield

Administration Manager

Kate Turley

Marketing Assistant

Sharni Weir

Marketing Manager

Vanessa Richmond

Group Manager Fundraising, Marketing & Communications

Patricia Parsons

Patient and Donor Communications

We Need You

Your support ensures rescue helicopters are available to your community.
Your rescue helicopter can be airborne in 10 minutes and, in a life or death situation, this speed and agility can make all the difference. The timely assistance that rescue helicopters provide can reduce disability and improve survival – the sooner treatment begins, the greater chance of patient recovery.

We are partially funded by a government contract with National Ambulance Sector Office (NASO). We rely heavily on the generosity of sponsors and the community to help fund the shortfall that allows us to be rescue ready 24/7, 365 days of the year. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopter can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel, and intensive care paramedics directly to the patient.

Without your support, your rescue helicopter would not be able to remain operational on a 24/7, 365 day a year basis. This could mean a serious delay in people being rescued or transported to hospital for urgent treatment.

Support your rescue helicopter and make a lifesaving difference.

Saving Lives, Together.

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