Two winch missions for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter | Philips Search and Rescue Trust

COVID 19 – UPDATE FROM YOUR RESCUE HELICOPTER

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Two winch missions for the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter

The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to Omanawa Falls on Saturday 24 February, to retrieve a 30-year-old man who slipped while walking. He was located about 500m upstream of the falls and was winched out from his location via the NZCT Rescue Winch of an extremely steep valley. He was transported to Tauranga Hospital for treatment.

The following day the rescue helicopter was dispatched to a motocross track near Waerenga, east of Huntly, to retrieve a 48-year-old man who came off his bike during a trail riding event. He suffered a fracture of the femur and was flown to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

Later that day the rescue helicopter was sent on a search for an injured tramper who had been reported by members of the public exiting the walking-track to the Waitawheta Hut, east of Mount Te Aroha.

Due to the density of the foliage, the helicopter inserted an NZ Police Search and Rescue specialist via the NZTC Rescue Winch at the hut, who was then able to locate the injured tramper. A 48-year-old female was winched out from her location with a dislocated ankle. She was flown to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

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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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