about us

The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter responds to life and death situations with the speed and agility that can make all the difference, with patients able to receive urgent medical treatment whilst en route to a medical facility.

Providing a fully-fledged air emergency medical service with the employment of our own full-time experienced Critical Care Flight Paramedic (CCFP), Crewman and Pilots. Our crews offer a diverse range of attributes and experience to our operation. Each member of the team brings a specialist skillset, enhancing the safety and efficiency of rescue missions.

The team's expertise means your rescue helicopter can attend search and rescue missions, operations involving a winch, night operations, time-critical inter-hospital transfers, and provide assistance to NZ Fire, Land Search and Rescue and the Armed Offender Squad.
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Team

1 Vanessa Richmond Group Manager

Vanessa Richmond

Group Manager

Leads Philips Search and Rescue Trust and oversees the Fundraising, Marketing, Administration & Finance teams
Kirsten Tye

Kirstin Tye

Project Manager

Leads all relevant PSRT business projects, while providing support to the wider team
3 Ange Cranfield Admin Manager

Angela Cranfield

Finance and Administration Manager

Oversees and supports all things related to Administration and Finance
Jenny Profile

Jenny Barris

Finance Processor

Processes donations that are made across all bases
Rene

Renee Bosley

Office Support & Customer Service Specialist

Provides administration support within the Finance and Administration Team and Customer/Donor support
Laura square min

Laura Healion

Office Support & Customer Service Specialist

Provides administration support within the Finance and Administration Team and Customer/Donor support
4 Whitney Smith Fundraising Manager

Whitney Smith

Fundraising Manager

Oversees all areas of fundraising, including setting the fundraising strategy & implementing initiatives
9 Jex Moore Fundraiser

Jex Moore

Fundraiser

Looks after our community fundraising activities, our tele-fundraising program, & supports our amazing regular givers
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Keryn Peddle

Fundraising Assistant

First point of contact for our generous donors, and provides support with whatever they need
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Ayshea Abela

Corporate Relationship Coordinator

Looks after our corporate supporters & our regular donor program, helping these amazing donors support their rescue helicopters
2 Sharni Weir Marketing Manager

Sharni Weir

Sponsorship & Marketing Manager

Leads on all areas of Sponsorship & Marketing. Oversees the marketing & communication strategies to support fundraising initiatives
Natasha Sponsorship Coordinator 002

Tash McGowan

Sponsorship & Marketing Coordinator

Looks after our family of sponsors, and coordinating collaborative ways to work together
11 Alex Paley Marketing Assistant Intern

Alexandra Paley

Marketing Coordinator

Manages social media platforms, creating engaging content and communicating with our supporters via campaigns & media
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Vicky Marland

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Looks after our Website, SEO, Google, and implements our online strategy
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Gillian Crompton

Patient Coordinator

Looks after our community of patients and families, sharing stories with our family of supporters

Helicopters

Specifications & Equipment

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The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter is a Kawasaki BK117. This single-pilot twin-engine helicopter has commonly been used as a rescue helicopter due to its speed, reliability and ability to fly close to cliff faces which makes it the best aircraft for all types of missions.

Crew

Your Pilots

With proven experience in a diverse range of flying conditions, and logging thousands of flight hours, a rescue helicopter Pilot is trusted with the safety of all on board.
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Sam - Pilot and Base Manager

Pilot Dan Harcourt

Dan - Pilot

Pilot Loren Web Square

Loren - Pilot

Pilot Paul Atiken

Paul - Pilot

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Phil - Pilot

Your Crewman

As the extra eyes and ears for the Pilot and the Critical Care Flight Paramedic during a mission, safety on board and around the aircraft is their priority including winch operation, navigation, obstacle identification and safe landing during flights.
Crewman Dave Jackson

Dave - Crewman

Crewman David square min

David - Crewman

Crewman Mo Shaik

Mo - Crewman

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Steph - Crewman

Your Critical Care Flight Paramedic

A critical care flight paramedic is trained to perform advanced medical intervention and life-saving procedures within a rescue helicopter environment.
ICP Diane Laatz Square

Diane - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

ICP Simon Burrows

Simon - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

ICP Rick Elms

Rick - Critical Care Flight Paramedic

Your Operations Team

Medical Director Muir Wallace 2

Muir - Medical Director

Pilot Barry Vincent

Barry - Pilot Training Manager

Pilot Charlie Beetham square

Charlie - Chief Pilot

Chris M Ops Square

Chris - Chief Operating Officer

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Graeme - Clinical Operations Manager

ICP Hugo Goodson square

Hugo - Clinical Development Manager

History of the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter

The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was founded in 1987 and has undertaken over 14,578 missions since its inception. When incepted, the service was 2 pilots equipped with a single-engine squirrel helicopter, only capable of flying during daylight hours, and a tennis court substituting as a landing pad.

With more volunteers and local funding supporting the service, the Squirrel was replaced with a Bell 222 Helicopter in 1995. With IFR capability, the pilots were now able to navigate night missions and conditions with limited visibility.

A winch-capable, single-pilot IFR BK-117 was fitted out to be used as a new rescue helicopter and was in use by 2013. By 2019, a second BK-117 was fitted out with avionics and is now in use alongside the first to meet the growing demand for the service and ensure that rescues could be carried out right across the Waikato.

Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity responsible for fundraising and promotion of the North Island’s largest pool of community rescue helicopters, including the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Encompassing a fleet of rescue helicopters and fixed-wing planes, the service provides air health and rescue services free of charge to the public on a no-fault basis.
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History Carosel WK 1
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History Carosel WK 2
History Carosel WK 3
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History Carosel WK 9
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