While the nation has continued to lock down at home under Alert Level 4, the life-saving work of your rescue helicopter has been ongoing. Your rescue crew have been tasked to many and varied callouts for accidents, emergencies, and flights for patients with complex medical needs.
During lockdown, five rescue helicopters – the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopters, TECT Rescue Helicopter, Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter – have undertaken approximately 38 missions combined. Patient and crew safety and wellbeing continues to be the absolute priority, and to support this, rescue crew are using their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and barrier flight curtains that separate the front and rear cabins of the aircraft, to protect everyone on board.
The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter have responded to several medical emergencies over the 10-day period, flying patients from Turangi, Tokoroa and Taupo to Rotorua Hospital and Waikato Hospital. On Friday, August 20, the helicopter was tasked to assist an 18-year-old male in Murupara who sustained injuries in a motorbike fall. He was flown to Rotorua Hospital. On Saturday, August 21, the crew of the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter flew to the assistance of a female in her 40’s, who had fallen from her bike at Craters of the Moon Mountain Bike Park and had sustained fractures. She was treated at the scene by the onboard Intensive Care Paramedic and then winched from the scene and flown to Rotorua Hospital.
Accidents and emergencies can happen to anyone at any time when least expected, as is evidenced by the large number of missions during the past 10 day period. While it’s hoped that a rescue helicopter won’t be required, the community can be reassured that their rescue helicopter is always there and its crew are rescue-ready 24/7, to respond to all emergency callouts.