Chop­per soon res­cue-ready

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Chal­lenge! Mata­mata has do­nated $1500 to the new West­pac Air Am­bu­lance from funds raised at the Chal­lenge Golf Se­ries held at Wal­ton Golf Club ear­lier this year.

In its eighth con­sec­u­tive year, the ‘‘Chal­lenge Chal­lenge’’ golf se­ries is held at the end of Jan­uary and con­tin­ues each Thurs­day evening for the fol­low­ing six weeks.

It is or­gan­ised by the team at Chal­lenge! Mata­mata.

The se­ries uses the nine hole Am­brose for­mat to en­sure those peo­ple that don’t play reg­u­larly, or in fact at all, also get to have some fun and ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­cite­ment of win­ning a prize.

Each team must have four play­ers and in­clude ei­ther a lady or a non-golfer.

To help bal­ance the teams and en­sure ev­ery­body has a chance to win, hand­i­cap shots are added or taken from teams de­pen­dent upon the re­sults from the pre­vi­ous week.

‘‘It’s a great cause that we are very proud to sup­port,’’ Chal­lenge! Mata­mata owner Dave Har­ris said.

Waikato’s lat­est air am­bu­lance is in the fi­nal stages of be­com­ing res­cue-ready as the fundrais­ing ef­fort to pay for the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar life­sav­ing ma­chine ramps up.

Which makes this month’s na­tion­wide West­pac Chop­per Ap­peal more vi­tal than ever for the Waikato-based Phillips Trust West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter, says mar­ket­ing and fundrais­ing man­ager Kylie Har­court, who is call­ing for the com­mu­nity to give gen­er­ously.

‘‘We are just shy of $2 mil­lion right now, so it would be great to get through that tar­get this month,’’ she said.

The multi-role BK117 is un­der­go­ing a huge makeover, be­ing con­verted from its pre­vi­ous life sup­port­ing Aus­tralian De­fence Force per­son­nel in the Solomon Is­lands to a fully op­er­a­tional res­cue he­li­copter.

‘‘The ca­pa­bil­i­ties that this BK117 adds to our res­cue port­fo­lio are im­mense,’’ chief pilot Grant Brem­ner said.

‘‘ All emer­gency ser­vices and those mem­bers of the pub­lic liv­ing in our re­gion will greatly ben­e­fit from this in­vest­ment.’’

The air­craft is equipped with a 272 kilo­gram res­cue winch and is night vi­sion gog­gle-ca­pa­ble.

Last year the cur­rent Waikato West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter com­pleted 385 mis­sions in the re­gion, in some cases mak­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death, West­pac’s di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate af­fairs Sue Fo­ley said.

‘‘Thou­sands of Ki­wis will need this ser­vice over the com­ing year – the re­al­ity is next time it could be any one of us, a mem­ber of our fam­ily or a friend,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re en­cour­ag­ing as many peo­ple as we can to sup­port such a vi­tal ser­vice as ev­ery do­na­tion makes a big dif­fer­ence.’’

Ms Fo­ley said each mis­sion could cost thou­sands of dollars and in­volved a mix of am­bu­lance and search and res­cue work.

‘‘This could be any­thing from boat­ing or car ac­ci­dents, near drown­ings, bro­ken bones or heart at­tacks – even emer­gency births.’’

She likened the res­cue helicopters to fully equipped in­ten­sive care units in the sky. Do­na­tions for the 2013 West­pac Chop­per Ap­peal can be made at any West­pac branch or text CHOP­PER to 3181 to do­nate $3.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.