Geoff and Barbara's Reason for Volunteering


When time counts your rescue helicopter will get there, and for one of our fabulous TECT Rescue Helicopter Volunteers, it was the only option, which saved his life.

For Geoff and Barbara Stevens volunteering for their TECT Rescue Helicopter during the recent Chopper Street Appeal is deeply personal.

22 years ago keen hikers Geoff and Barbara and a friend, were camping overnight at the Te Pakau (Eight Acre) Campsite in the beautiful Te Urewera.   Their plan was to hike one of the stunning walks the following day.

But for Geoff waking up the next day, that plan was scuttled.

Feeling unwell and with severe chest pain, Geoff knew he was in no shape to hike that day, and for Barbara the reality of being in such a remote location with her husband clearly unwell was daunting.

Barbara described bundling Geoff up into their car and driving the long gravel road through the Urewera’s until she found a house. 

Being in a time before cell phones, the only option Barbara had to find help for Geoff was to drive up to houses and door knock to find a house with a telephone.

Thankfully for the pair, the second house Barbara found had a working telephone, and the call was made to Emergency Services. 

Due to the remote location, the newly incepted TECT Rescue Helicopter was soon dispatched and shortly after Geoff, who was having a full heart attack, was landed at Whakatane Hospital and placed into the care of a young physician who ensured Geoff had the best of care and survived that day to be able to give back to his recuse helicopter 22 years later!

Giving back to their community and volunteering for their rescue helicopter is a part of Geoff and Barbara’s values. 

We celebrate all volunteers this week, and our hats off to Geoff and Barbara who have experienced the rescue helicopter service first-hand and know the importance of the service in saving lives.