Winter is upon us, and all of the crew in both our Christchurch and Greymouth bases have been busy – here’s an overview of what they’ve been doing over the last six months.

In the first six months of 2022 there have been 429 missions across the Canterbury and West Coast regions. Approximately 40% of these were emergency responses to accidents, 29% medical emergencies, 20% patient transfers and 11% search and rescue. Close to 300 of these missions were completed by the Westpac Rescue Helicopters, whilst the remaining 133 missions were by the ROA Mining Rescue Helicopter Service based in Greymouth.

April and June have been our busiest months YTD, and the crew have been busy flying all throughout the region. Most recently in June, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew helped patients in Kaikoura, Amberley, Rapaki, Akaroa, Twizel, Arthurs Pass, Mt Cook, Hanmer Springs, Goose Bay, Oxford, Mt Hutt, Cheviot, Timaru and Ashburton. That’s quite some coverage in 30 days!

As Crew Chief, Rick Knight, states, ‘There are no two missions the same, we have to be prepared for any eventuality. In June we responded to everything from a fall off a roof, sepsis, several farming incidents and motor vehicle accidents, choking, hypertension, a fractured femur, spinal cord injury and responses off-shore as well as search and rescue. Ultimately with these types of trauma and illness, time makes all the difference.

‘We are required to be in the air within 10 minutes during the day (currently we are hitting 6 minutes on average) and 20 minutes at night (this includes time to calibrate night vision goggles.)  Without your support we would not be able to respond to these emergencies.  

On behalf of the crew and patients, thank you.’