Combined Rescue Helicopter effort | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Combined Rescue Helicopter effort

A combined rescue helicopter effort saw the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter and Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopters executed a transfer of a 16-year old female with spinal injuries from playing rugby.

The woman suffered an injury to her neck when her head hit the ground. The injury occurred in Dannevirke, but due to poor weather over most of the South Island, the decision was made to transfer her to Middlemore Hospital instead of Christchurch Hospital.

She was initially retrieved by the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter and accompanied by her mother. She was then hand-over to the Waikato Westpac Rescue Chopper for onwards travel from Waikato Hospital. The helipad handover facilitated a more rapid transit to Middlemore Hospital.


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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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Saving Lives, Together.

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