TODAY |

Westpac rescue helicopters set to double staff numbers for training purposes

Rescue helicopter services around the country have had to beef up their training programmes, as part of changes to their contracts.

Christchurch Westpac Helicopter alone has had to double their staffing numbers going from 18 crew members to forty.

Canterbury will also now have two helicopters available.

The service gets about 700 callouts per year.

Mike McLintock, who trains the crew, said a second chopper will be great for the community.

Getting each crew member fully trained costs about $25,000 per person annually.

They're working hard to raise $1 million during the annual red chopper appeal this month.

Your playlist will load after this ad

With more staff comes a higher operational cost. Source: 1 NEWS