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Garden City Helicopters

What a treat it was to go to the new Garden City Helicopter site for the first outing of the Christchurch South West Probus Club.

On 27th September, 24 Probians were shown around the helicopters, viewed the emergency equipment contained inside, and learnt a lot from Rachael McNutt (who spoke to the Club in August), helicopter pilot Stu, and care paramedic Juliet; how she can be winched down to rescue people in very tight situations and unsighted by the helicoptor pilot, is unbelievable.

The purpose-built building was opened nearly 12 months ago and is shared by the NZ Flying Doctor service; it also has a large workshop inside. The Flying Doctor Service is provided by fixed wing aircraft and mainly moves patients from hospital to hospital to obtain specialised care. The Air Rescue and air ambulance service is covered by two large helicopters which operate 24 hours/day. The pilots have accommodation at the building and work on a shift basis.  They are extremely well trained for all rescue situations.

Pictured above: Pilot Stu is holding the special night goggles which attach to the helmet and enable good viewing when required.  They are very expensive and are kept in a safe when not in use.

Canterbury/West Coast Air Rescue Trust is the fundraising body for the service and as each rescue costs approximately $8000 and the Government funds 50% of their requirements, a lot of fund raising is required each year.

Afterwards members went to lunch at Antlers Café in Yaldhurst Road. This was a very enjoyable and informative outing.