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Busy Start To 2008 For Air Rescue & Air Ambulance

Busy Start to 2008 for Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Life Flight NZ Air Ambulance

The Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Life Flight NZ Air Ambulance Service have had a busy start to the new year.

In the latest incident the Westpac Rescue Helicopter transported a man who collapsed onboard his boat near Riversdale, in the Wairarapa late this afternoon.

A 46 year old Wainuiomata man was onboard a boat with several friends when he passed out and collapsed to the floor of the boat. His friends ensured he was still breathing, rang 111 and got the boat back to shore quickly and set up a safe landing zone for the helicopter.

The helicopter, with a Wellington Free Ambulance Paramedic onboard, arrived at the scene about 5:15 this afternoon. By time the helicopter arrived, the man was conscious but had no memory of the collapse.

"His friends did a great job looking after him until we arrived" says Dave Greenberg, Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman. "They were able to provide an accurate GPS position which allowed us to fly directly to the patient saving valuable time".

The man was transported to Wellington Hospital in a stable condition and is currently being assessed and treated in the Emergency Department.

This was the second helicopter mission of the day, following the transport of a patient thrown from his car in the early hours of this morning (a media release was sent this morning).

Also today the Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance service transported two patients around the country.

An 18 year old pregnant woman, showing signs of premature labour, was transported from Hamilton Hospital to Wellington Hospital early this afternoon. The woman was cared for by a specialist flight nurse and midwife from Wellington Hospital.

Soon after returning to Wellington the air ambulance was sent to Blenheim to transport a five year old child who was suffering from burns to her back. The little girl, along with her mother, were transported by the plane to Wellington Airport and then driven to Hutt Hospital for care in the burns unit. She was also cared for by a specialist flight nurse from Wellington Hospital. No details are available of how the girl was burned.


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