In 2020, rescue helicopters assisted more than 9,000 patients. The services provided by the local trusts which run these helicopters have become increasingly complex, with highly specialised equipment, flight crew, on-board intensive care paramedics and ‘Retrieval Medicine Doctors’ available as needed in an emergency. This means that many patients are treated while still in the air, greatly increasingly their chances of a successful recovery. The location of rescue helicopters is often important for communities. In 2018, the residents of Rotorua and Taupō campaigned to keep their local rescue helicopter when it was proposed to base the service only in coastal cities.
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Source: The New Zealand ambulance service strategy: getting it done!: information package, November/December 2008. Wellington: National Ambulance Sector Office, 2008.