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News from base

Life Flight Trust, along with four other regional rescue helicopter trusts, has been successful in a tender to continue serving central New Zealand. This tender is part of a 10-year modernisation programme involving the Ministry of Health, ACC and DHBs to ensure the best possible patient outcomes continue to be achieved across the country. There will be little visible change to the public with donations still needed to cover the gap in funding to local operators. 

“Our amazing supporters may have been aware of this modernisation programme taking effect,” says Life Flight Chair Dame Annette King. “Many, many hours of hard work have gone on behind the scenes to ensure our tender was successful, enabling Life Flight to continue doing what we do best – saving lives.” 

King says it is important for Life Flight to continue to be able to count on the generosity and commitment of its supporters and sponsors. 

“To successfully meet the requirements of the tender we are working alongside four Central Region helicopter trusts while each retaining an independent focus on serving our local communities.  

“We remain a charitable trust that will need the support of the community as much as ever. The need to help people in life-threatening situations continues to increase.” 

King said the transition to the new operating model would be largely seamless and the day-to-day running of the Life Flight operations will continue without interruption. 

The Trusts included in this tender to cover central New Zealand include Life Flight, Philips Search and Rescue, Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter, Taranaki Rescue Helicopter and Eastland Rescue Helicopter and have come together as a group called Central Air Ambulance Rescue Limited (CAARL). 

This programme does not involve fixed-wing air ambulance plane services. That means Life Flight will continue to operate, as it has always done, its 24/7 nationwide air ambulance plane service out of Wellington, helping patients who urgently require specialist medical care.  

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