Greenlea Premier Meats come to rescue | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

Greenlea Premier Meats come to rescue

MEDIA RELEASE 24 April 2020



Greenlea Premier Meats come to rescue

Philips Search and Rescue Trust’s (PSRT) plea for additional funding has been answered by long term sponsor Greenlea Premier Meats Ltd. After learning helicopter crew were in serious need of funding for COVID-19 specific protective equipment, Tony Egan on behalf of Greenlea Premier Meats raised his hand to help.

Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity that fundraises and markets for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter, TECT Rescue Helicopter, Greenlea Rescue Helicopter and Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter. Continuing to save lives relies heavily on community funding and skilled personnel to man their fleet of five BK117.

Philips Search and Rescue Trust’s measures to protect patients and helicopter crew has escalated and continues to evolve as knowledge surrounding the virus develops worldwide. The recent installation of a flight barrier curtain separating the front and rear helicopter cabin is one such safety measure. The compact environment of a rescue helicopter brings unique challenges. In a confined space, the need to create physical distance, separate crew members and limit contact with critically ill or injured patients is complicated.

With each additional safety initiative carrying an unbudgeted cost, and $15,000 desperately needed to install the curtains protecting patients and crew on all five rescue helicopters, the call for community support was unavoidable.

Longtime rescue helicopter supporter, Greenlea Premier Meats, has been principal sponsor of the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter for over 8 years. Managing Director, Tony Egan, regards the alignment with the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter a combined effort to support the community as “one team”. Egan didn’t hesitate when he read the Trust’s rescue helicopters required extra support to protect the team during the global combat of COVID-19.

“We didn’t want the crews at risk as they provide such a vital service.” Tony Egan explains,

“Greenlea understands and respects that this is a difficult financial time for many people. We saw an opportunity to assist both the communities where the helicopters are based as well as protect the crews.”

With $2,000 already raised from members of the public last week, Greenlea Premier Meats generous offer to cover the remaining costs of purchasing and installing the barrier curtains for all four Central North Island regions is humbling.

Beyond the $3,000 required for furnishing the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter alone, Greenlea exceeded their regional commitment and donated $13,000 Trust wide, benefitting the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter, the TECT Rescue Helicopter and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter.


“We are overwhelmed with the generous donation from Greenlea, to not only support ‘their’ rescue helicopter, but see the need in supporting all of the Central North Island rescue helicopters as well. It is amazing Greenlea have come to our aid for this essential piece of equipment. We couldn’t be more grateful” says Vanessa Richmond, Group Manager for Philips Search and Rescue Trust.

Relieved by the donation from Greenlea Premier Meats for the barrier curtains, PSRT continue to require vital protective gear to fulfill their community duty safely under the cloud of COVID-19.

With over 77 missions since lockdown, 24 accident related, putting preventable pressure on resources and crew at risk during lockdown; Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter, TECT Rescue Helicopter, Greenlea Rescue Helicopter and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter still need your support. If you are in a position to help our crew, you can donate online at . We all thank you.


Photo attached  Greenlea Premier Meats Crew



Media Liaison: Marketing Manager, Sharni Weir [email protected]

If you have specific enquiries please email these questions direct to Sharni Weir for reply [email protected]


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Background: Note: For the purpose of this media release the “PSRT” will be used when referring to both SRSL (Search and Rescue Services) and PSRT staff ICP’s but only in relation to the five entities named below. Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity responsible for fundraising and promotion of the North Island’s largest pool of community helicopters. PSRT was founded in 1985 after an endowment by Philips New Zealand Limited to mark a light aircraft accident near Turangi in which two Philips personnel lost their lives.

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. The rapid response is powered by an expert crew of pilots, crewmen, paramedics, doctors, flight nurses, and specialist crew. In a life and death situation it is this speed and agility that can make all the difference, with patients able to receive medical treatment whilst en route to a medical facility.

Philips Search & Rescue Trust fundraise for and support:

Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter – Waikato, King Country, Coromandel

TECT Rescue Helicopter – Bay of Plenty coastal region

Greenlea Rescue Helicopter – Lakes region, Central Plateau

Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter – Manawatu, Whanganui

Westpac Air Ambulance (Fixed wing) – Nationwide


For further information visit or contact your media liaison.

We Need You

Your support ensures rescue helicopters are available to your community.
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.

Support your rescue helicopter and make a lifesaving difference.

Saving Lives, Together.

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