Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay rescue helicopter services joined forces to respond to simultaneous events on the East Coast on Thursday.
At around 4.40pm the Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter was heading home from Tauranga Hospital, to where they had flown a critically-ill patient they had treated in Te Kaha earlier in the afternoon.
After being tasked to respond to a motor vehicle accident in Anaura Bay, they altered their route so they could land quickly at the scene, where the on-board critical care flight paramedic assessed and treated the patients, who were flown in a stable condition to Gisborne Hospital.
Because they were still in the air another medical emergency further north, at Te Puia Springs, was referred to Hawke’s Bay’s Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter, which left its Hastings hangar at 4.52pm.
Once on site their own critical care flight paramedic assessed and treated the patient — who was also flown in a stable condition to Gisborne Hospital – and the crew were home two-and-a-half hours after dispatch.
The joint effort once again showed the value of helicopter trusts from throughout New Zealand working as a team, says Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust chair Patrick Willock.
“With weather events continuing to cause problems with transport and access, it’s great to know our people have the cover they need,” Mr Willock says.