Chopper Chat – November 2022
By Nigel Strongman
Twenty-two people were fortunate to have the services of the Rescue Helicopter on the Peninsula available during October, six of which were from our side of the hill.
Missions for October
10.10.22 – Coromandel –Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his 70’s suffering a medical complaint. He was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.
13.10.22 – Coromandel – Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his 70’s suffering a medical complaint. He was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.
14.10.22 – Coromandel – Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his 80’s suffering a medical complaint. He was flown to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.
23.10.22 – Port Jackson – Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his teens involved in a dirt bike accident. He was flown to Middlemore Hospital in a minor condition.
29.10.22 – Coromandel – Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his 60’s suffering a medical complaint. He was flown to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.
30.10.22 Waikawau – Crew tasked to assist a male patient in his 50’s who had suffered a fall onto rocks. He was transported to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.
Good news, for those that missed last month, is that the Rescue Chopper is returning for six weeks, Boxing
Day to mid-February.
A very big congratulations to Trustee Doug Walters and his crew at Whangamata Golf Club for organising
and running the Annual Ray White Sponsored Golf Tournament recently. The money raised from this event
went to Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust ($10,745.00), Ronald McDonald House ($10,745.00) also and a
smaller amount to Whangamata St Johns Ambulance. What a fantastic effort!!
The Bi-Monthly meeting of the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust was held on the 27th of October at the
Ardmore Base of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust. Before the meeting, we had the privilege of being
shown around the base by the Critical Care Paramedic – Marcel Driessen who incidentally started his career
at Tairua St Johns ambulance.
Situated beside Ardmore Airfield, the base consists of a group of unpretentious but functional buildings
including staff kitchen, common room, ablution, accommodation block (for night shift crew),
control room, boardroom and hangars for the choppers and rescue equipment. There are two rescue
machines and crew on standby at all times, with a third machine as backup.
The two newer helicopters are Italian Leonardo AW169, capable of 250km/h cruise speed, and can reach the
Coromandel Peninsula in just 13 mins. They drink 360 litres of Jet A1 kerosine fuel per hour and hold 1100
litres giving them a comfortable three-hour range.
Crew include pilot, co-pilot, paramedic, and doctor. Most of the doctors are volunteers who each spend a
couple of days per month to further enhance their training.
These helicopters are fitted out with advanced stretchers and medic aids. The photo attached shows Marcel
Driessen demonstrating an automatic CPR unit, that can be strapped onto the patient and set to deliver CPR
compressions to suit the patient’s needs. This is just one of the bits of amazing kit carried onboard, all
designed to give the patient the best chance of survival.
While we were there, a chopper took off for winch training over water for newer recruits. Before lift-off, the
machine was sprayed with anticorrosion solution, and after returning, was washed thoroughly inside and
out, with fresh water to neutralise the salt water.
Please remember, donations can be made on the website, or by online banking to Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust; 03-1578-0116338-001, with your name as reference. All donations are tax deductible, and a tax donation certificate will be sent if required. All donations are gratefully received.
Have a safe and warmer month
Contact Nigel Strongman – 022 670 1549
Trustee - Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust