VIP RESCUE FOR GREENLEA STAFF MEMBER | Philips Search and Rescue Trust


It wasn’t the VIP treatment Ethan was expecting after a day of running down wild pork in the Pureora Forrest.

Ethan Richmond is one of the Greenlea family’s Engineers based at the Greenlea Premier Meats plant in Morrinsville. An avid “hunter and gatherer” if he is not in the factory stalking repairs and hunting maintenance, he is in the bush chasing wild pork, or in the brine chasing crayfish.

On Sunday the 18th August, Ethan and his hunting mate took off into the depths of the Pureora Forrest in search of the elusive wild pig. Not one to muck around Ethan was running down a steep hill, following the sound of his bailing dogs when suddenly his leg ended up in a hole, coming to a grinding holt. This caused his knee to bend the complete opposite direction, causing excruciating pain for Ethan.

The keen pig hunter initially tried to strap his leg with belts and dog collars, but quickly realised he had done a lot of damage and was unable to bear any weight on his knee.

Luckily Ethan’s hunting mate was able to make the walkout to raise the alarm and inform emergency services of their predicament, Ethan then activated his personal locator beacon so the chopper could quickly pinpoint his position.

Shortly after 1.30pm the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand received a call advising of a beacon that had been activated in the Pureora Forest Park.

The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was tasked with the mission and set off at approximately 1.45pm. Onboard, Pilot Pete Masters, Crewman Mark Bond, Intensive Care Paramedic Graeme Harvey, and Search and Rescue team member Nicky Hughes.

Pilot Pete Masters was able to track the beacon with the GPS tracking system in the helicopter, along with receiving a fully resolved GPS location from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand. Search and Rescue team member Nicky spotted Ethan and his hunting companion through a small hole in the dense bush.

The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter landed on a small clearing within the bush, close to Ethan’s location and off-loaded Intensive Care Paramedic Graeme and Search and Rescue team member Nicky to assess the scene. Once at the scene, it was found that Ethan had a serious knee injury that required immediate medical attention.

The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter provided Greenlea staff member, Ethan with a VIP flight up to Waikato Hospital, Intensive Care Paramedic, Graeme made sure Ethan was as comfortable as possible during the flight. He was seen by the Waikato Emergency Department and provided further treatment.

In recovery now, Ethan suffered significant damage to his knee cap and ligaments, he will require several reconstruction surgeries and is now faced with being in a cast for months.

We are wishing Ethan a speedy recovery; the wild bacon is awaiting.


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