A Busy December For The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter
December was a busy month for your Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew, impacting the lives of 68 patients throughout the month, including 35 inter-hospital transfers, 18 medical events, 7 rural/farm rescues and 8 motor vehicle accidents. The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was seen in locations such as Paeroa, Thames, Waihi, Taranaki and Taupō over December, with the most visited location being Thames, making up for 12 of the total missions flown.
With warm weather and sunny days, kiwis are getting out to do the things they love this summer. Unfortunately, this often means a higher demand for a rescue helicopter, particularly in the Coromandel region, where there are many popular holiday hotspots. Injuries made up for 70% of callouts this December and 13 accidents involving vehicles (8 road accidents, 4 farm vehicle rollovers and 1 racing injury on a speedway track). 21 missions were carried out to the Coromandel this December, which is almost 50% more than the month prior.
December started with a winch mission to a rural location. The callout was to assist a man in his 20’s who had suffered multiple injuries following an ATV rollover down a 20-metre embankment. The onboard Intensive Care Paramedic assessed the patient before he was winched out of the steep ravine and flown to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
On Saturday, December 3, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to the Coromandel for a female patient in her 90’s who had sustained injuries following a fall. She was transported to Waikato Hospital for further treatment. The helicopter late returned to the Coromandel for a woman in her 70’s who had sustained a serious injury following a fall. She was transported to Waikato Hospital in a stable condition.
The following day, the helicopter responded to a 4WD Ute accident on a farm in Te Miro, which was inaccessible by road ambulance. The onboard crew transported 2 patients in a moderate condition to Waikato Hospital for further assessment and treatment.
In the afternoon of Monday, December 6, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was tasked to Waihi to assist a woman in her 70’s who had slipped and injured her ankle. The onboard crew transported the patient to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
Tuesday, December 14 saw your Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew in Taupō assisting a man in his 20’s who had sustained a serious leg injury following a motor vehicle accident. The man was airlifted from Taupō airport to Waikato Hospital for urgent treatment.
The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter attended to 2 missions to Thames in one day. On December 20, the helicopter was dispatched to Thames to transport a young girl suffering from a medical condition. The onboard crew flew the patient to Waikato Hospital. The onboard crew then returned to Thames for a man in his 50’s who was knocked unconscious during an incident and needed immediate care. The patient was resuscitated at the scene and taken to Thames Hospital. He was then airlifted to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.
The following day the helicopter responded to a callout to Hot Water Beach for a young girl who had sustained an arm injury. She was flown, with her mother alongside, to Waikato Hospital for further treatment. The next day the onboard crew responded to a motor vehicle accident on SH1, north of Tirau. One patient had sustained fractures and was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition, for further treatment.
On Christmas Day the onboard crew was tasked with transporting a man in his 50’s suffering from a stroke. He was airlifted to Auckland Hospital for urgent treatment. Later that evening, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to Taharoa for a woman in her 70’s who sustained injuries from a fall. She was transported to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.
On Boxing Day, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to a motorcycle incident in Glen Massy, north of Huntly, where a man in his 40’s came off his motorcycle, sustaining multiple injuries. The patient was flown to Waikato Hospital for further treatment. Later that evening, the helicopter was tasked to Thames for a man in his 70’s with a spinal injury. He was airlifted to Waikato Hospital for further care.
Missions like these are made possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors. The greatest gift you could give is time, time for patients to spend with their loved ones this summer. Help keep these life-saving missions available to your family and friends all summer. Donate today at rescue.org.nz.