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rate. Donations and contributions from the public account for less than 10 per cent of LDART’s budget.
The trust does not own and operate helicopters; it contracts Heliworks in Queenstown and Southern Lakes Helicopters in Te Anau.
The trust pays the contractors – in 2012/13 the bill was almost $1 million – and buys rescue gear, and pays for training and administration. Its service is 24 hours, seven days a week, with accredited contractor personnel, including medics, alpine cliff rescue teams, search and rescue squads and swift water rescue.
The Mirror asked the Ministry of Health National Ambulance Sector Office whether funding could be adjusted to reflect an increase in rescue work and whether the Government was in a position to fund the shortfall but replies were unavailable by deadline.
Specialist service: Helicopter rescue pilot Shaun Clark dons night vision goggles.