May Mission Report- Canterbury
The month of May saw the Canterbury crew respond to 29 missions in total.
Mission statistics for the month were consistent with recent monthly trends; the majority of callouts for the Canterbury Crew were responding to accidents (52%). Medical events (21%) and inter-hospital transfers (27%) made up the remaining 48% of Canterbury missions. New Zealand transitioned to Level 2 lockdown on the 14th May; this marked the return to work for the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust staff and the beginning of the country transitioning to a new normal way of life.
Whilst mission numbers were down throughout COVID-19, as predicted, once restrictions lifted with the announcement of Level 2, the crew’s workload rose significantly. A large increase in accident callouts for the Canterbury Service concluded with the move to Level 2 as people were able to become more active in their region. The service responded to 15 accident related emergency service callouts, 11 of which occurred through the 14th-31st May.
Similarly, as the roads became busier, more motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s) occurred. The crew responded to 5 MVA’s in May, including a head on crash on State Highway 1 that resulted in 2 patients being flown to Christchurch Hospital for treatment with status 2 and status 3 injuries.
Medical emergencies and patient transfers also kept the Rescue Helicopter crew busy, with 14 patients requiring urgent medical intervention for conditions including stroke, cardiac arrest, STEMI and respiratory difficulties. The Rescue Helicopter crew flew a total of 32 patients during May.