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Inspiring Kiwi: Westpac Rescue Helicopter - 19 May

Pukekohe man Ian Freer was participating in an organised trail ride on steep farmland in Waerenga, north of Huntly.  He suffered chest and suspected spinal injuries when his bike veered off a narrow section of the track and down approximately 100 metres of near vertical hill-side.

Faced with an extremely difficult extraction Ian was hover-loaded off the hill-side before being flown to Waikato Hospital for further treatment.  He suffered nine broken ribs and a punctured lung.
This was an impressive and intense helicopter recovery performed by chopper pilot Dan Harcourt. Footage of that rescue can be seen here.

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 choppers 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.

This week's Air NZ Holiday's Inspiring Kiwi recognizes the incredible service provided by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.  You can do your bit to support them, by going to

Watch the interview here: