About | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Saving Lives

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. The timely assistance that rescue helicopters provide can reduce disability and improve survival – the sooner treatment begins, the greater chance of patient recovery.

Philips Search and Rescue Trust (PSRT) is New Zealand’s largest rescue helicopter trust, operating rescue helicopters throughout the central North Island.

Dispatched through the 111-call system, our rapid response rescue helicopters bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel and trauma-trained medics directly to the patient.

Powered by an experienced crew of pilots, paramedics, flight nurses and crewmen, in a life or death situation it is this speed and agility that can make all the difference, with patients able to received urgent treatment while en route to a medical facility.

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

PSRT also operate 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 Islands 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 30,000 people owe their lives to PSRT rescue helicopters.

Grant Bremner

Base Manager/Chief Pilot

Loren Haisley

Pilot

Dan Harcourt

Pilot

Charlie Beetham

Pilot

Bill McNeilly

Crewman/Crew Trainer

Simon Burrows

Crewman

Liam Brettkelly

Base Manager/Pilot

Todd Dunham

Pilot

Barry Vincent

VFR Chief Pilot

Leigh Sefton

Crewman

Callan Carn-Bennett

Crew

Nat Every

Base Manager/Pilot

Ben Fry

Pilot

Chris Moody

Base Manager/Pilot

Lance Burns

Pilot

Kelley Waite

Crewman

Graeme Spiers

Crewman

Errol Millar

Executive Chairman

Terry Burcher

Trustee

Patricia Bayley

Trustee

Stewart Davies

Trustee

David Wickham

Secretary

Vanessa Richmond

Communications & Marketing Manager

Patricia Parsons

Community Liaison

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.

The cost of this is huge. Your rescue helicopter has contracts with ACC, DHB’s and NZ police, providing approximately 50% of the operating costs. This means the remaining 50% of funding must come from the community.

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 life saving difference.

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