about us

The Aerocool Rescue Helicopter provides a 24-hour air emergency medical service to the Coastal Bay of Plenty Region in the North Island. Since the service was founded in 2000, it has touched the lives of more than a thousand patients.

Specially equipped for rescues, the Aerocool Rescue Helicopter attends search and rescue missions, operations involving a winch, night operations, time-critical inter-hospital transfers, and provide assistance to NZ Fire, Land Search and Rescue and the Armed Offender Squad.

These missions wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and skill of the incredible team of men and women who make up the crew of the Aerocool Rescue Helicopter. The flight workforce consists of full-time experienced Critical Care Flight Paramedics (CCFP), Crewmen and Pilots. Each member of the team brings a specialist skillset, enhancing the safety and efficiency of rescue missions.


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Vanessa Richmond

Group Manager

Leads Philips Search & Rescue Trust and oversees the Fundraising, Marketing, Administration & Finance teams
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Sharni Weir

Fundraising & Marketing Manager

Leads all areas of Fundraising & Marketing. Oversees the delivery of fundraising, marketing & communication strategies
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Angela Cranfield

Finance Manager

Oversees and supports all things related to finance
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Kirstin Tye

Operations Manager

Leads all areas regarding HR, Training, Office Management & Finance

Renee Bosley

Fundraising & Marketing Executive

Supports the Fundraising & Marketing Manager, funding requirements, events and oversees fundraising campaigns
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Milla Ware

Fundraising & Marketing Assistant

Supports the everyday functions of the Fundraising and Marketing team
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Jenny Barris

Finance Processor

Processes donations that are made across all bases

Millie Armory

Fundraising & Marketing Assistant

Supports the everyday functions of the Fundraising and Marketing team
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Ayshea Abela

Partnerships Coordinator

Supports our sponsors and corporate donor relationships
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Catherine Cook

Community Fundraising Coordinator

Supports community fundraisers, provides fundraising support and looks after our bequest program.
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Keryn Peddle

Donor Care Coordinator

First point of contact for our generous donors, providing support with whatever they need
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Laura Hamilton

Database Coordinator

Undertakes the day-to-day coordination of our database and provides support to our donors
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Bridget Ross

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Manages social media accounts, content creation and communicates with supporters via campaigns & media
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Gillian Crompton

Marketing & Patient Coordinator

Looks after our community of patients and families, sharing stories with our family of supporters


Specifications & Equipment

Inside TRH
The Aerocool Rescue Helicopter is a Kawasaki BK117. This single-pilot twin-engine helicopter has commonly been used as a rescue helicopter due to its speed, reliability and ability to fly close to cliff faces which makes it the best aircraft for all types of missions.


Your Pilots

With proven experience in a diverse range of flying conditions, and logging thousands of flight hours, a rescue helicopter pilot is trusted with the safety of all on board.
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Clayton - Pilot

Pilot Base Manager Liam Brettkelly

Liam - Pilot and Base Manager

Pilot Todd Dunham

Todd - Pilot

Pilot Hendry De Waal

Hendry - Pilot

Your Crewmen

As the extra eyes and ears for the Pilot and Critical Care Flight Paramedic during a mission, safety on board and around the aircraft is their priority including winch operation, navigation, obstacle identification and safe landing during flights.
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Dave - Crewman

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Ben - Crewman

Crewman Ian Gulliford

Iain - Crewman

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Kat - Crewman

Your Critical Care Flight Paramedic

A critical care flight paramedic is trained to perform advanced medical intervention and life-saving procedures within a rescue helicopter environment.
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Janine - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

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Andy - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

ICP Dave Harrison

Dave - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

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Tony - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

Your Operations Team

Medical Director Muir Wallace 2

Muir - Medical Director

Pilot Barry Vincent

Barry - Pilot Training Manager

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Charlie - Chief Pilot

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Chris - Chief Operating Officer

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Graeme - Clinical Operations Manager

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Hugo - Clinical Development Manager

History of the Aerocool Rescue Helicopter

The Aerocool Rescue started out as the Tranz Rail Rescue Helicopter, founded in 2000. TECT and Trustpower joined up to become principal sponsors of the helicopter in 2004, and the service was renamed the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter.

In 2007, the Ian Pain Memorial Hangar was built, sponsored by Vern and Barbara Pain. In April 2018, the helicopter was upgraded from the single-engine Squirrel to the twin-engine BK117.

By 2019, the Aerocool Rescue Helicopter had employed full-time Crewmen and Intensive Care Paramedics, and TECT had become the sole principal sponsor, giving it the name it was known as between 2019 & 2022: The TECT Rescue Helicopter. In November 2022, it was renamed the Areocool Rescue Helicopter as Aerocool became the principal sponsor. Since its inception, the crew have undertaken over 4,100 missions.

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