Life Flight

Each week 28 people need time-critical aeromedical care. With your support, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Air Ambulance Planes are there in their moment of need.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Stats Block

Your local Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Zipping across the lower North and upper South Island

  • Provides 24/7 emergency medical service
  • Charges $0 to patients
  • Average take off 8 minutes (day)

Your crew

The crew

There are three key roles on your Westpac Rescue Helicopter – pilot, crewperson, and paramedic.
When on shift, the crew remain at the Air Base and ready to go at all times.

  • Pilot

    The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Pilots are supplied by SRSL, and fly in some of the toughest conditions in the world. They navigate hills, open water, precarious landing zones, and constantly face the unknown.
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  • Paramedic in uniform standing infront of the Westpac rescue Helicopter

    Wellington Free Ambulance Flight Paramedic

    The expertly trained Wellington Free Ambulance flight paramedics, supplied in a joint venture, bring hospital-level care to the patient, transforming the helicopter into a flying intensive care unit.
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  • Male in flight suit smiling infront of Westpac Rescue Helicopter


    The crew coordinates the emergency air services and ensures a safe and secure working environment. Their search and rescue skills enable them to spot patients in raging seas, orientate pilots while flying close to cliff edges, and operate the winch to access patients in hard-to-reach places.
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Equipment onboard

Rescue Equipment

Constant vibrations, turbulence, mud, water, sand make for a harsh environment for the equipment on board.
Fortunately, support from the community (and rigorous cleaning by the crew) help keep it in top nick.

  • Black and red Defribulator on blank background


    The corpuls3Touch/defibrillator provides real-time patient data, enabling fast diagnosis. It can also shock the patient to restore a regular heartbeat if needed.
  • Dog harness

    A speciality harness for man's best friend, this piece of equipment safely allows us to winch Police Dogs for missions and rescuing patients' canine companions.
  • Fall arrest suit

    Also known as a harness, this is to keep the crewperson and Wellington Free Ambulance Flight Paramedic attached to the cabin when the doors are open.
  • Helmet

    Helmets provide crucial protection to our crews, as well as the ability to communicate easily when winching, searching and navigating on a mission.
  • Yellow helmet with night vision goggles attached

    Night Vision Goggles

    Essential for safe flying at night, the military-grade night vision goggles can amplify a light source to be more than 7,000 times brighter than the naked eye.
  • Stryker stretcher

    This stretcher smoothly and safely transports patients in and out of the aircraft, with foldable legs and the ability to attach all necessary monitoring devices.
  • Survival Suit

    Vital for sea rescues, the immersion survival suit prevents hypothermia in cold water – keeping the crew dry and warm for two hours.
  • Winch

    The winch is a lifeline for those lost at sea or in dense bush. When the helicopter can’t land, the flight paramedic is sent down the line to retrieve the patient.
  • Winch stretcher

    The lightweight winch stretcher enables someone with a broken back or leg to be winched safely into the hovering helicopter above.

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