2013 Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter Appeal underway
17 October, 2013
25 years of saving lives
2013 Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter Appeal underway…
The founder of Northland’s Electricity Rescue Helicopter service is paying tribute to the paramedics and pilots who have helped save hundreds of lives since 1988.
Just weeks out from the Northland Emergency Services Trust’s official 25th anniversary, NEST Chairman John Bain is hoping for a highly successful Year 25 fundraising appeal.
And his stance is being backed by All Blacks’ selector Grant Fox who is encouraging Northlanders to donate to their lifesaving air ambulance service during the just launched 25th anniversary fundraising campaign.
Mr Fox says it is evident that the people behind Northland’s Electricity Rescue Helicopters give selflessly but the stark reality is that such a charitable service needs public donations to have the level of funding required to keep operating.
“Well over a thousand lives saved in 25 years and more than 15,000 people flown ... that’s incredible,” says Mr Fox.
“They do a great job. It’s worth supporting. You never know when you might need it. This service and the people who operate it, and are inside it, give selflessly and service their community.
“I think the least we can do is support them by making donations because they need financial support.”
Mr Bain is adamant at least 20% of flights have been lifesaving thanks to reaching patients in the crucial golden hour and platinum half hour.
“The Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter Service is the only 24 hour IFR (Instrument Flight Rule) service in New Zealand and we have the mostly highly trained paramedics in the country,” says Mr Bain.
“Regardless of what we do we are always trying to improve someone’s life and the whole reason we established this service – with a dedicated team alongside us – was to help people. We are proud of what we have got now – nine pilots, a host of talented paramedics, and great staff.”
Mr Bain says because of the impact it has had on the community, any Northlanders 25 years or younger simply expect it as a public service.
So his challenge to locals is to make the Year 25 celebrations particularly memorable by ensuring it the biggest fundraising campaign in the history of NEST.
“But I also want to hear from people all around the world who have benefitted from this service, or been positively impacted by it and share their stories with us, while also donating to our appeal. The fact is, we need that generosity to keep saving lives because we are a non-profit organisation.
“We were the first community in New Zealand to buy its own rescue helicopter to use as an air ambulance. Now we have three and we are the busiest independent air ambulance service in New Zealand because we service 38% of the length of the North Island’s coastline and we can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year – flying well over 1000 patients a year.”
NEST’s unique operating model has been copied by other services around the world – a fact Mr Bain says the NEST team, local emergency services, healthcare facilities and St John Ambulance staff and paramedics should be proud of.
“Northlanders have been immensely generous to us over the years. We need that goodwill to continue to allow us to keep saving lives and bringing happiness and hope to people in times of need.”
November 15 marks the anniversary of the first flight by the Northland Emergency Services Trust back in 1988. November 17 will be the 25th anniversary of the first medical flight by the service.
Northland electricity lines companies Northpower and Top Energy, which have sponsored Northland’s Electricity Rescue Helicopter service since 1988, will again match public donations to the 2013 Electricity Rescue Helicopter Appeal up to $150,000.
People can donate in three
• Return your Freepost official donation envelope sent out to all Northland homes
• Donate at any Northland ASB Branch
• Internet banking donation to ERH Appeal: ASB - 12 3106 0046000 00
Those who donate $5 or more can be in to win one of 60 rides in an Electricity Rescue Helicopter.
Follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/northland.rescuehelicopter