The Eastland Helicopter rescue team gears up with help from NZCT

Gisborne’s Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust (EHRT) recently received a grant from the New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) of $12,000, to purchase two Alpha Eagle Dual Visor Flight Helmets

The specialist headgear helps equip the Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter which undertakes hundreds of flights a year to offer emergency care and transport to those who suffer medical or trauma events and to assist in search and rescue missions.

The teams of pilots, critical care flight paramedics and crewmen operate 24/7 flying to all corners of the region, especially remote areas where access is difficult, services are limited, and the need is great.

And they need the right gear to do that.

To ensure they are not sent off-kilter by heavy night-vision goggles, the $6000 helmets are custom-fitted for each team member and incorporate visors, communications, and a noise-cancelling feature to prevent pilot fatigue.

Though they can be repurposed for new crew, they cannot safely be used beyond their lifespan of about 10 years.

“These helmets are standard across all Search and Rescue Service (SRSL) bases and we need to have top-spec equipment so our team can operate at its best,” says EHRT treasurer Ian Parker.

“Their purchase is an ongoing expense for EHRT so this support from NZCT is a big help in ensuring te Tairāwhiti is served by a helicopter rescue service at the top of its game.”

Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust is a not-for-profit charitable trust that has since 1988 helped deliver lifesaving critical care to patients throughout the Tairāwhiti region. Our motto is "Saving Time, Saving Lives” and our team operates best when it has the best gear. This generous grant from NZCT means that we will be able to remain on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

PHOTO CAPTION: Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter pilot Tony Brice and crewman Max Neustroski.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter provides life-saving services to some of the most hard-to-reach areas of the Gisborne/Tairāwhiti region.