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 Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was tasked to various medical emergencies including in to the regions of Tangiwai, Akitio and Raetihi. On Tuesday, August 24, a female in her 60’s was flown from Tangiwai to Whanganui Hospital suffering a medical event. On Wednesday, August 25, a male in his 60’s, suffering a medical emergency, was flown from Akitio to Palmerston North Hospital and on the same day, the rescue helicopter flew to Raetihi to assist a female in her 30’s who suffered a medical event. She was flown to Whanganui 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.