Rescue helicopter fight is not over
OPINION: The future of the Greenlea Rescue Helicopter service, based in Taupo¯ , hangs in the balance.
Lives are at risk should NASO [National Ambulance Sector Office] not recognise the imperativeness of retaining this chopper in the Taupo¯ area.
My concern isthe detriment that will no doubt occur without this service based in Taupo¯ which covers a vast region.
The knowledge and experience of our local rescue service team has proven paramount in reducing loss of life.
Local and regional rescues are very much on the increase and to lose this service will undoubtedly mean death for some and that need not transpire.
A hunter who was accidentally shot, was recently rescued in the Kaimanawa Ranges.
His partner states that were it not for the prompt service that Taupo¯ currently offers, she would have had to raise their two small children alone.
Time was of the essence and in every case this is a predominant factor. This is only one illustration of numerous scenarios whereby, were it not for this service, there would have inevitably been more fatalities.
I therefore question NASO: ‘If the outcome is not in support of our Taupo¯ -based search and rescue services and people die due to the time restraints then who will take responsibility for these loss of lives?’.
There is no price tag for the loss of a life, no monetary value, only the grieving devastation of those that lost a loved one when it could so readily have tipped the scales towards a more favourable conclusion.
The best clinical outcome for any patient is a quick, effective service and time is paramount for the optimal rescue.
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter has always offered the best service available that prioritises and values life.
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter went on 33 missions in April and three would have been fatal if they had to wait longer for a helicopter.
Jan-Marie Quinn is campaigning to retain a rescue helicopter service, based in Taupo¯ . The National Ambulance Sector Office [Naso] is reviewing rescue helicopter services in New Zealand and is proposing fewer bases and larger, twin engine helicopters. Initial plans did not include retaining a base in Taupo¯ , but was subsequently included as a possibility. A decision has yet to be made.
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter.