Business Support Crew Coordinator

Sean has been with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for close to 20 years, working closely with both new and existing business supporters, overseeing business donations and associated marketing and business benefits (such as winning the annual signage draw to get the company on the rescue helicopter!)

When asked about what motivated him to join the Trust, Sean says, “There is an ever-increasing demand on the air rescue services across Canterbury and the West Coast. Unfortunately, there is a corresponding increase in cost. Without the service, lives will be lost. I’m grateful to be a part of a team dedicated to helping keep the crew and the choppers in the air for all of us.”

While ultimately the support is about saving lives, Sean says more businesses are also focusing on staff engagement, social responsibility, and the inherent value of being seen to be contributing to such a vital community service. The service is not fully funded, with donations going towards the $5,000 funding shortfall of each rescue. A number of businesses have become Mission Supporters – essentially responsible for the crew being able to complete a full rescue mission. “Mission Supporters cover the total shortfall of a single mission into their local area”, says Sean. “That mission is dedicated to the business, and there’s the option to promote that support through the likes of social media and marketing. It’s a win-win for the business and the patient!”

Speaking on his favourite part of his role Sean says, “I know how important it is for supporters to know they are dealing directly with the service; to know their money is going locally and directly to the chopper. I love being able to provide that reassurance, by talking directly to business supporters, catching up with them each year, being able to thank them on behalf of the crew and the patients.”

Of course, driving the support is the knowledge that the next patient could be a colleague, one of the staff, a friend or family member. Many of our support crew are based in remote or rural areas, where the rescue helicopter is their only option in an accident or medical emergency. Without this support, the outcome for patients could well be quite different

When asked about any particular highlights of the job over the years, Sean says there are simply too many.  “A day doesn’t go by where I don’t speak with either an ex-patient or with someone who has had a family member, or a friend, picked up in the helicopter. These conversations reveal the often-unspoken impact these events have on family. It’s hard not to be moved by their expressions of relief and the gratitude they have towards the helicopter crew for being able to give their loved ones the best possible outcome.”

Over the past twelve months, our business support crew helped towards the funding shortfall of over 90 rescue missions. Unfortunately, our annual business support crew event hasn’t been able to proceed this year, however, we look forward to inviting you and the family to the base in the new year so we can thank you in person.

Sean can be contacted via email: or by phone 021 986 984