On 6th July 2019 around midday the NZCC Rescue Helicopter was called south to SH6 on the Waitaha River, South Westland. A vehicle had hit ice, spun and ended up in a ditch, causing injury to the front passenger of the single truck involved.
Due to the complicated nature of the injury and the isolated place in which the crash took place, the helicopter was dispatched, with new flight Intensive Care Paramedic, Hernan Holliday on board.
On arrival at the scene, local fire personnel blocked the highway so the helicopter could land close to where the patient lay.
After determining the injured patient likely had a broken patella (knee cap), it was decided that they should be flown directly to hospital in Christchurch for specialist care.
“It’s times like these that the use of a helicopter really is key to dramatically improving patient outcome. It’s both the skill we bring to a casualty scene such as this, and the timeliness that we can place the patient into the care of our Intensive Care Paramedics and subsequent specialist hospital care that can often make a difference in favourable outcome for the patient”, said flight crewman on duty that day, Tim Robins.