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Busy day for Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Busy day for Wellington Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Life Flight NZ Air Ambulance Service

The Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance have done four missions today. It was also the Life Flight Open Day supporting the Westpac Chopper Appeal.

The Auckland based Life Flight NZ air ambulance arrived in Wellington at about 1030 this morning and transported a medical patient up to Auckland.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter received two emergency calls at virtually the same time, around 11:40 this morning. The helicopter was asked to respond to a road traffic crash in Kapiti and a trail bike accident in the Wairarapa.

The helicopter first responded to the Kapiti accident. We landed in the parking lot of Southward Car Museum and picked up a 5 year old Christchurch girl who was seriously injured in a crash on St Hwy 1 at Otihanga Rd. The girl appeared to be suffering from serious head injuries. She was transported to Wellington Hospital ED where she was being treated and assessed. (Update at 1820 - the girls injuries are not as serious as first thought - she has been admitted to Wellington hospital in a stable condition).

After refuelling the helicopter responded to the trail bike accident just north of Masterton. A trail bike rally was being held and a 20 year old Titahi Bay man missed a turn, flew over his handle bars and tumbled 60 metres down a bank "head over heels". He was wearing full safety gear but was knocked unconscious during the fall. The man was treated by a Wairarapa Ambulance officer who was at the event and she along with other bike riders managed to get the man to the top of the hill. The helicopter arrived at the scene at 1:30 and had the man back to Wellington Hospital at 2:10 pm. He was treated in the emergency department and released late this afternoon.

The Wellington based Life Flight NZ air ambulance is about to transport a patient suffering from spinal injuries from Hutt Hospital to Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. Apparently the patient suffered the injuries in an accident overnight. No other details are available at this time.

Today was also the Life Flight Open Day in support of the nationwide Westpac Chopper Appeal running all this month. Over 2,000 people attended the day at the air rescue centre on Wellington Airport. The public was treated to winch displays by the rescue helicopter as well as displays by the airport fire service, Wellington Free Ambulance, Aviation Security and the Capital & Coast Health flight nurses from the Intensive Care and Neonatal Units. They were also able to meet pilots and crews and see inside the rescue helicopter and Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance.

"It was great to see so many people come out and meet our teams and see our aircraft" says Kevin Allan, Life Flight General Manager. "As well as letting people get close up to our services it is even more special this year as we celebrate 30 years since Peter Button began the service and 25 years of Westpac sponsorship of the rescue helicopter service".

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