Call for NZ to help local rescue helicopters
Call for New Zealanders to help local rescue helicopter service
New Zealand’s rescue helicopters undertook close to 5,000 missions last year – that’s a phenomenal amount of help for Kiwis who needed it. As part of this month’s Westpac Chopper Appeal, this life-saving service is now asking for a little help in return.
New Zealanders are being asked to give generously to support their local rescue helicopter during Appeal month, which raises awareness and funds for rescue helicopter services nationwide.
Operated by 16 charitable trusts nationwide, these choppers are like fully equipped intensive care units in the sky providing a dedicated 24-hour, seven day a week service. From a defibrillator for a premature baby to full life support systems, they are equipped to deal with almost any situation.
Most are staffed by a pilot, a crew person and a paramedic and tend to emergencies across land, water and mountains throughout New Zealand.
Rescue c hoppers are called on when a patient is very badly injured and where medics think getting to hospital quickly will make a big difference. They also assist with accidents in difficult locations and support search and rescue and fire operations.
The majority of funding for this unique service comes from the community – from sponsors like Westpac, a proud supporter for nearly 30 years, and other fundraising activities.
Mark Graham, Westpac’s National Sponsorship Manager, says the country’s rescue helicopter services often make a life or death difference for many New Zealanders.
“Thousands of New Zealanders will need this service this year – the reality is next time it could be any one of us, a member of our family or a friend.
“Each mission costs thousands of dollars and includes a mix of ambulance and search and rescue work – anything from boating or car accidents, near drownings, broken bones or heart attacks – even emergency births.”
Running throughout May, the Westpac Chopper Appeal is supported by open days at the helicopter bases, the sale of a special limited edition range of Huffer gear, and fundraising activities such as auctions, as well as a nationwide street appeal on Friday 21 May. Westpac funds the marketing and administration costs of the Appeal, and distributes 100% of funds raised back to the local rescue helicopter trust.
During May, donations for the 2010
Appeal can be made:
• At any Westpac Branch
• By texting CHOPPER to 4483 to make a $3 donation
• By phone on 0900 4 CHOPPER (0900 424 67737) to make a $20 donation
• On the web at www.chopperappeal.co.nz .
Westpac is the major sponsor of the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Westpac rescue helicopters and Waikato Air Ambulance, and through the Westpac Chopper Appeal helps all other regional helicopter services around New Zealand.
The incredible missions of some of the country’s rescue helicopters and their crews are the focus of the award-winning television series Rescue 1 which screens on Thursday nights at 8pm on TV2 .