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News from base

Crewman Julian. Photo credit: Lindsay Keats

Westpac Rescue Helicopter is New Zealand’s Most Trusted Charity of 2018 according to the annual Reader’s Digest public poll. 

Westpac Rescue Helicopters service the four main New Zealand centres: Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch; and from these bases cover the majority of New Zealand. These services are operated by the Life Flight Trust, Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, Phillips Search and Rescue Trust and Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust/GCH Aviation. 

Wellington-based Life Flight Trust Helicopter Pilot Harry Stevenson says, “There is a huge team effort required to ensure we can respond every time our emergency phones ring, and that includes the other excellent emergency services that we work alongside and the community and sponsors who help fund us. It is fantastic that this is being recognised.” 

Life Flight Chief Executive Ian Pirie adds, “We are absolutely thrilled the community has named Westpac Rescue Helicopter as their most trusted charity, because their support is what keeps us flying. Life Flight has been saving lives for more than 40 years, and we are grateful to have had Westpac as a major sponsor of our rescue helicopter since 1981.” 

 

“We are absolutely thrilled the community has named Westpac Rescue Helicopter as their most trusted charity, because their support is what keeps us flying."

Westpac Rescue Helicopters are available 24/7, when speed to hospital is critical or when the location is remote or challenging. Life Flight’s Westpac Chopper serves the lower North and upper South Island. 

In speaking to patients and their families they describe the moment they first heard the Westpac Rescue Helicopter in the distance and the feeling of huge relief as it arrives; whether it is a motor vehicle accident, search and rescue, a medical emergency or whatever the crew are tasked to. The crew train for these moments; in winching, search and rescue, orientation, bush survival and helicopter underwater escape training, as well as being Intensive Care Paramedics. The crew operate on a paradigm of trust. They put their lives into the hands of their colleagues while they save the lives of others. 

The Westpac Rescue Helicopters saves thousands of lives every year, but can only be there thanks to the support of Westpac and the whole community. The service relies on support from across New Zealand; community groups, corporates and individuals who have contributed. This award is to be shared with all of them and with our principal sponsor Westpac. 

This is the 19th year Reader’s Digest has conducted this public poll, asking consumers what products and services are important to them. 

For more information about Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands visit www.trustedbrands.co.nz

Pilot Harry. Photo credit: Lindsay Keats