New rapid response vehicle for chopper crew | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

New rapid response vehicle for chopper crew

A new rapid response vehicle for the crewmen of the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter has been supplied and fuelled by McFall Fuel of Tauranga.

The official handover took place on Tuesday afternoon at the Hangar located at the Tauranga Hospital.

Pilot Liam Brettkelly and Crewmen Leigh Sefton gratefully thanked McFall Managing Director Allan McFall for the company’s generous gift.

“This vehicle is critical to ensuring the service is rescue ready 24/7 and is especially vital as the crewmen for the helicopter are all volunteers and are on call over a 24 hour period”, said Brettkelly.  ‘They could be at work or home when the pager goes off and they need to be able to drive safely, yet quickly, to the hangar.’

McFall Fuel took up the opportunity to supply the much needed vehicle as they recognise the need for the rescue helicopter in their area and the requirement for that service to be airborne as soon as possible in a time critical emergency.  Many of McFall’s staff and customers work and reside in remote areas which are difficult to access in an emergency.  Knowing the service is available to those in needs fits with McFall’s family philosophy.

“McFall Fuel is proud to sponsor the Rapid Response Vehicle, seeing this as a first-class way of supporting such an invaluable community service.  We support the Trust just like so many other businesses and individuals, so that should the situation arise, people in urgent need can be reached quickly and treated immediately which is important. The great majority of the McFall Fuel staff cover many kilometres each day to reach customers who are often working in quite remote locations. The rescue helicopter provides these communities and businesses that we work with and in, with that safety net when accidents occur and time is critical. We work hard to achieve zero harm, but accidents do happen, and having the Rescue Helicopter is paramount for us all,” said Allan McFall.

The family have become great supporters of the rescue helicopter because it played a critical role in helping to save Allan’s brother Bryce in July 2002.  Bryce was marshalling on a quad bike for a motorcycle club trail ride 50 kilometres into a forestry area in the Mamaku’s when the accident occurred. There was no way an ambulance could reach the location and Bryce was fortunate that the people on the scene helped prior to the arrival of the rescue helicopter.  Bryce is the Vice President of the Mount Maunganui Rotary Club and involved on the Board of the Disabilities Resource Centre in Tauranga. He is also very supportive of the BOP Parafed organisation.

The vehicle, with its bright new paint job, has been fitted with lights and siren to allow it to move more freely and safely through traffic in times of emergency.  “If you see it out and about with the lights on please allow it the right of way, it could be someone you know we are on our way to help,”added Brettkelly.

For more information about McFall Fuel please visit their website 

Philips Search and Rescue Trust is a charitable organisation, operating rescue helicopters throughout the Central North Island. Philips Search and Rescue Trust relies on support from principal sponsors and community donations. Special thanks to Tauranga’s principal sponsors, Trustpower and TECT. This crucial financial support ensures our rescue helicopters can continue to bring life-saving equipment, rescue personnel and trauma-trained medics directly to the patient.


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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.

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