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.

Pilot – James

A Q&A with Pilot James

James joined the Life Flight team as a Westpac Rescue Chopper pilot in 2021.

What work did you do before coming to Life Flight? For the previous 12 years I was flying helicopters in Papua New Guinea for the Oil and Gas industry. Prior to that I worked in Australia on mineral exploration on bush fires. I started out helicopter flying Wellington.

Why did you want to join the Life Flight team? I already knew some of the Wellington Life Flight crew and having worked in Wellington previously, I had a fairly good idea of what the job entailed. Working for the community rather than a large corporate customer was a definite draw card as well as being closer to home. It’s great to be able to give something back to the community.

What is the best part of the job? Every job is different, but obviously the best jobs are the ones when you have helped make a positive impact on someone’s life. Either by being able to get urgent medical assistance to them or rescuing someone from a life threating situation.

What is the hardest part of your job? Unfortunately, we do see situations where people’s lives and the lives of their family and friends can be drastically changed in an instant due to an accident or medical event.

What was the main thing that stood out for you when you started working here? It’s such as team effort to get a job done! From the team responsible for raising funds so that we actually have a helicopter, to the crewman and paramedics – everyone is so incredibly dedicated.

How do you relax when you’re not at work? I live up the Kāpiti Coast, so getting down to the beach most days to walk the dog is a must. We work some fairly unsociable hours, so on days off I get to spend time with my very understanding wife. I’m also a keen mountain biker and runner.

What would you like to say to our wonderful supporters? Thanks! Without our supporters there would be no Westpac Rescue Chopper. Every donation helps and is greatly appreciated.

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