A vicious bee attack | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

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A vicious bee attack

A vicious bee attack requires a swift response

When Larry Cummings reacted to a vicious bee attack on his rural property outside Taihape, his emergency received a swift response from the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter.

Larry was refuelling a farm pump when he noticed something flying around his head.

“I didn’t take much notice of it until it was attacking me.  Realising I was stung and still being attacked, I raced down to the house.  By the time I got there, I was having a reaction and fighting for breath,” said Larry, who is also an asthmatic.

“Apparently one of the worst things you can do is swat at angry bees, but it was really coming at me.”

“We had some medication on hand.  My partner, Phyllis, phoned 111.  We were so lucky because the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was only a few minutes away.  Its close proximity to us was basically the saving of my life.”

The rescue helicopter, piloted by Lance Burns, was off the ground in three minutes, returning to base at that precise moment from a previous mission.  Medics on board were able to administer oxygen to Larry whose every breath was a struggle.

“I can’t praise the professional help enough.  Within 20 minutes I was in Whanganui Hospital.  Even while I was flying, my situation was improving.”

“We were Friends before my emergency, but we are bigger Friends now,” he laughed. “ I am just so grateful to be a member and that the rescue service is here.  In my opinion, rural people should be Friend members.”

” I didn’t think that in my wildest dreams I would ever need you. You people are lifesavers.”

“It happened out of the blue, but now I am what you would call, bee-ware.”

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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.

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