When agricultural contractor Andrew’s tractor rolled on a steep hill on a remote farm in Tiraumea, he knew the rescue helicopter was his only option.
It was supposed to be a normal day of raking and baling paddocks on a farm, nestled in the foothills of the Puketoi Ranges.
After a productive day, the contracting crew were on the home straight, with just one last
paddock to bale. As Andrew remembers, “I was driving the 10-tonne square baler down the hill when out of the corner of my eye I could see the baler starting to jack-knife. I thought to myself ‘shoot, this isn’t good’”.
Everything from there happened in slow motion. The last thing he saw was the baler sliding sideways behind the tractor, when the tractor began rolling, he was thrown through the glass door.
Andrew’s dad, who was raking a couple of paddocks over, rushed to the scene and called emergency services. They knew it would be a difficult area to get to, and so the rescue helicopter, returning from a mission near Whanganui, was diverted to the farm.
Andrew, lying unconscious, came around to the sound of the rescue helicopter landing in the paddock next to him. “The station we were on was remote, it would have taken two hours for an ambulance to arrive and getting to the paddock that I was in would have been difficult,” said Andrew. “My injuries would have made for an excruciating trip to hospital if I had travelled by road”.
After a short 20-minute flight over the Manawatu Gorge, Andrew arrived at hospital. His injuries were extensive - a smashed pelvis, broken ribs and deep cuts to his head and body.
Andrew has had a long road to recovery, having to learn to walk again, and still feels the effects of the severe head injury from the accident.
Andrew says, “I will never forget the sound of the chopper coming in and the feeling of relief I felt knowing they were there for me. Thank you so much to the donors that keep the rescue helicopter in the air”.
Rescues like Andrew’s are only possible with your help. Thank you for helping your rescue helicopter save lives.