Res­cue chop­per flights soar

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Res­cue he­li­copters flew more mis­sions than ever in 2013 to pa­tients the width and breadth of the Waikato.

When Mata­mata woman Lee Love was in­jured in a minibus crash last year, West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter pilot Dan Har­court went out on a rainy night to fly her to hos­pi­tal.

More than 700 mis­sions ranged from search and res­cue to hos­pi­tal trans­fers for pa­tients in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Two dif­fer­ent res­cue trusts cover the Waikato – the Auck­land Res­cue He­li­copter Trust works in the Coro­man­del, and the Philips Search and Res­cue Trust has a base at Waikato Hos­pi­tal and an­other in Taupo.

The Auck­land West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter had a record year in 2013, when it car­ried out 238 mis­sions to the Coro­man­del, and a to­tal of 923 mis­sions through­out the Auck­land re­gion, up 137 on the pre­vi­ous high of 786 mis­sions in 2012.

The Coro­man­del-based chop­per had a busy start to sum­mer when it was called into ac­tion 25 times in its first 12 days at the base for the 2013-2014 hol­i­day pe­riod. This was up five on the pre­vi­ous year.

Colville, Pauanui, and Whanga­mata were among the Coro­man­del mis­sion des­ti­na­tions in De­cem­ber 2013, and they in­cluded a van ver­sus dirt bike ac­ci­dent, trans­port for pa­tients with med­i­cal con­di­tions, and winch­ing an in­jured pa­tient out of a gorge.

Last year was also a busy one for the Philips trust, with 505 mis­sions from the Waikato, King Coun­try and Cen­tral Plateau area.

Christ­mas and early Jan­uary also brought a rise in mis­sion num­bers, fol­low­ing two steady years for that pe­riod. Through­out all five of its cen­tral North Is­land bases, the trust flew 945 mis­sions and the num­bers have been inch­ing up each year .

Last year, 44 mis­sions were to help new­borns and/ or their moth­ers, and 64 for po­lice or search and res­cue. Ac­ci­dent and med­i­cal rea­sons were the most com­mon, with 563 mis­sions.

Recre­ational- based ac­ci­dents made up 35 per cent of those, and al­most 30 per cent of ac­ci­dents in­volved ei­ther a mo­tor ve­hi­cle or mo­tor­bike.

Pilot and pa­tient: When Mata­mata woman Lee Love was in­jured in a minibus crash last year, West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter pilot Dan Har­court went out on a rainy night to fly her to hos­pi­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.