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'It saved my son's life' - Auckland father grateful for doctors on rescue helicopters

An Auckland dad says having doctors on board the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopters saved his son's life. 

The Auckland air ambulance service is the only rescue helicopter team in the country to have emergency trauma doctors on board every day of the year.

Until recently they were only a part of the crew during the day, but now the service has been extended to run 24/7.

That extension follows the introduction of new air ambulance requirements to have two clinical crew on board at all times. 

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Trust says it is great news as a third of all mission happen at night. 

Ethan Hepper, 11, was riding his dirtbike, on the 23rd of December, when he had a nasty crash.

He hit a concrete lip and was thrown 15 metres, before hitting a metal trailer

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded.

Doctor Paul Blakemore used an ultrasound to identify internal bleeding, and was able to transfuse him blood at the scene.

"We fly and deliver a bundle of critical care interventions if you like. Advanced diagnostic skills. We carry ultrasound. We're allowed to deliver blood" Mr Blakemore told 1 News.

Ethan's short a kidney and his spleen following his crash, but said "I was really lucky".

The pair caught up this week. five months on.

After just completing two night shifts with the Westpac crew, Mr Blakemore told 1 News he's passionate about the service he helps provide. 

Without it, he admitted Ethan's survival would have been unlikely. 

Mr Blakemore, who works in Tauranga, is one of many doctors from around the country and the world that work for the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter service.

The trust is currently appealing for support, to keep the initiative running.

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An Auckland dad says his son’s life was saved because rescue helicopters now have emergency trauma doctors on board 24 hours a day. Source: 1 NEWS