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Rescue helicopters flat out in first days of new year

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust had its second busiest day on record on New Year's Day with nine missions, and other rescue helicopters around the country have also been flat out in the first days of 2018. 

Auckland intensive care paramedic Chris Deacon told 1 NEWS the rescue helicopter crew have attended "the full gamut" of incidents.

"We had people falling over, we go to car accidents, heart attacks and strokes, all of those things that happen all the time but just they all came at once."

Matthew Parry slipped on wet rocks at Auckland's Red Beach and injured his knee on New Year's Day.

He couldn't move and the tide was coming in quickly.

"I thought I was going to be in a bit of strife, the way I was located on the rocks there. I was in agony, in pain," he said. 

"The rocks were so slippery. The fire guys tried to carry me out but it was too dangerous. A surf boat was plan B and that was too dangerous. So they called on Westpac which was awesome."

Christmas Day was the busiest Christmas we've ever had - Otago Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Graeme Gale

And it's been hectic around the country as Kiwis and tourists head out to enjoy the sun. 

Otago Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Graeme Gale says the lead up to, and right through Christmas has been very busy. 

"In fact Christmas Day was the busiest Christmas we've ever had." 

Last year, rescue helicopters attended more than 4000 call outs nationwide. In the first two days of 2018, they went on 39 accident and medical missions. 

A helicopter's speed and agility can give victims the best possible chance.

"We've supported Westpac for many years with donations, but I never thought one day they'd be rescuing me," Mr Parry said. 

It's a service that relies on help from communities to be able to help them in return. 

The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust has had one of its busiest days ever already. Source: 1 NEWS


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