Frantic day for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter. | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Frantic day for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to Kawhia just after midnight this morning, to retrieve a man in his 60’s who had suffered a cardiac incident. The man was transported to Waikato Hospital for cardiac care.

Within minutes of landing, the crew was then sent to Mangaorongo, east of Otorohanga, to another cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, the patient died shortly after the rescue helicopter arrived.

A few hours later, the crew were tasked to Huntly, to retrieve an 86-year-old man who suffered a stroke.

This was immediately followed by a flight to Aria for a motorcycle rider who was injured during a motocross event. The 9-year-old male came off his bike when he tried to avoid hitting another motorcycle, and was reportedly struck by a third cycle. Both patients were flown to Waikato Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

At 7.15pm the pager went off again requiring the rescue helicopter to  retrieve a 16-year-old  Auckland female from West Te Kauwhata. She sustained a fracture to her right leg in a motocross crash. She was transported 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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