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 Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew have been very busy in the last 10-day period. On Wednesday, August 18, the helicopter was tasked to transport a female patient in her 40’s who had sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident. She was flown from Taumarunui Hospital to Waikato Hospital. On Friday, August 20, the helicopter responded to a callout to Raglan for a female in her 30’s suffering a medical emergency. She was flown to Waikato Hospital. The helicopter was also tasked to Te Kuiti on Saturday, August 21, where a woman in her 60’s suffered injuries in a fall at home. She was flown to Waikato Hospital. The rescue helicopter was called out more than once to the Thames/Coromandel District. A male patient in his 60’s, suffering a medical event on Sunday, August 22, was flown from Tairua to Waikato Hospital. On Wednesday, August 25, a male in his 50’s, experiencing a medical event, was urgently flown from Thames Hospital to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
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.