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Helicopters to the Rescue

Helicopters to the Rescue

Posted December 10, 2019
Emergency Services

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust sent through a report and these dramatic photos of what occurred yesterday after White Island erupted at 2.11 pm.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service played an important role providing three helicopters and crew to assist survivors and first responders.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has thanked and acknowledged the courageous decision made by first responders and those pilots who she said made an incredibly brave decision under extraordinarily dangerous circumstances to attempt to evacuate people from the eruption at White Island.”As a result of their efforts a number of people were rescued from the island,” she said.

At 2.40 pm Westpac 1 crew were sent to assist with the search and rescue of patients involved with the White Island eruption. After landing at the Whakatane Airfield staging area, crew ferried two Intensive Care Paramedics to White Island to assess and manage patients. With no further patients to return, Westpac 1 uplifted this medical team and Westpac 2’s medical team back to the Whakatane Airfield staging area.

From there, Westpac 1 was tasked to Whakatane Hospital to assist with the transfer of a young female patient in a critical condition to Middlemore Hospital.

At 2.45pm Westpac 2 joined the search and rescue of patients involved with the White Island eruption. After landing at the Whakatane Airfield staging area, crewferried their Intensive Care Paramedic and PHRM Doctor to White Island to assess and manage patients.

With no further patients to return, Westpac 2 uplifted their medical crew and Westpac 1’s medical crew back to the Whakatane Airfield staging area.

From there, Westpac 2 was tasked to the Whakatane boat ramp staging area to assist with the transfer of a female patient in a critical condition to Middlemore Hospital.

At 5.33pm Westpac 3 crew flew to Whakatane Airfield to deliver 13 units of blood, and then to Whakatane Hospital to assist with the transfer of a female patient in a critical condition to Waikato Hospital.

Click on an image to enlarge: