New Zealand's landscape and terrain is diverse, ranging from pastural flatland, rivers and shoreline to rugged alpine terrain and dense bush. In this environment, the speed and maneuverability characteristics of a Rescue Helicopter offers unique advantages and access over conventional land ambulances.
In a life and death situation where every minute counts, air rescue may be a patient's only chance for survival. In trauma cases such as road accidents and medical emergencies, if a patient can be transported to the specialised care they need within one hour of the onset of illness or injury, their chances of making a complete recovery increase by up to 80%. This is recognised and referred to as "The Golden Hour"
The rapid transfer of patients between medical centres, particularly from smaller rural and regional areas to larger metropolitan facilities, is also critical and air transport in specialised fixed-wing aircraft offers distinct advantages.
As health service in regional areas are restructured and often reduced, it becomes even more important that a fast, efficient lifeline to specialised medical facilities in larger metropolitan areas is provided.
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Missions flown by our rescue services can be categorised into the following, general groups:
includes injuries related to tramping, motocross, climbing, sport, recreational diving, hunting, horse riding, climbing etc
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
includes all main road accidents involving vehicles, urban and rural.
includes general falls, cuts, bone breakage etc
includes helicopter transfers between hospitals of patients, neo-natal, medical specialists and equipment.
FARM & WORK
includes injuries sustained on farm or around workplace such as machinery accidents, falls from scaffolding, burns, fishing boat accidents etc
includes heart attacks, strokes, seizures, asthma attacks, allergic reactions etc
SEARCH AND RESCUE
includes missing persons, locator beacon activations, missing aircraft or boat searches etc
includes firefighting, specialist police operations, displays, training etc