Northland’s air ambulance clocks up mileages
Sikorsky S-76 ZK-ISJ responds to a callout at Pouto, Kaipara North Head.
During the first half of this year, the Northland Emergency Services Trust’s (NEST) dedicated air ambulances have clocked up a total of 639hr in the air, responding to emergency callouts and transporting patients to the region’s hospitals.
“With the helicopters travelling at an average speed of 278km/hr, the fleet has travelled more than 166,980km this year alone,” says chief pilot and NEST CEO Peter Turnbull. “That’s the equivalent of travelling four times around the world.
“Our Sikorsky S-76s are built to travel up to 724km in a single trip. That makes us the service of choice in New Zealand when long-range rescues are required.”
One of the longest trips this year was a life flight, transferring a patient from Masterton to Auckland Hospital in March, a 1hr 40min trip each way.
Other recent callouts include:
• Rushing a patient with hydrocephalus, known more commonly as water on the brain, from Whangarei to Auckland Hospital.
• Collecting a patient suffering from a seizure in Mangawhai for transporting to Whangarei Hospital.
• Rushing a patient with a potentially fatal aortic tear to Auckland Hospital.
• Collecting a patient with hypothermia from Russell to be rushed to Whangarei Hospital.
• Attending to a case of intussusception, a medical disorder involving the intestines.
As NEST is a 24hr, seven-day-a-week operation, its teams of pilots and medical support staff are always on call.
“Every flight requires two pilots on board to ensure the mission is completed without any issues” says Peter Turnbull.
“Our air ambulance service would not be possible without the generous donations from sponsors and community donations, including the $46,000 raised from the recent Westpac Chopper Appeal.”
- Report supplied, photographs by NEST.
» Summer success at the Walsh
» The luxury of living in the Ivory Tower
» Comper moves swiftly
» UAV usefulness increasing
» Woodville’s even dozen
» 60th birthday party for ZK-BNL
» New airline MRO facility
» Hands across the Southern Alps
» Praise earned in tough place