Whatever walk of life we come from; life can change in an instant!

Our team of passionate Rapid Relief Team (RRT) volunteers in Greymouth were only too willing to raise a hand and fundraise to show their support to the West Coast Air Rescue.

On Tuesday this week, Rapid Relief Team member, Vern Hoyle, presented a cheque of $14,800 to Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue’s chief executive Christine Prince. The funds contributed will be used to support the ROA Mining Rescue Helicopter and to ensure the continuation of its life-saving air service.

Rapid Relief team volunteers & donors, along with Chief Executive Christine Prince and local Mayor Tania Gibson

Earlier this year, Vern and his team organised a hearty BBQ fundraising meal in central Greymouth. The day provided awareness of the local Air Rescue service and appealed for donations from generous locals. Proceeds of over $2,500 from the sale of food was an overwhelming starting point of the initiative.

A Brilliant West Coast summers day drew locals to support the Air Rescue Service, and of course enjoy a nutritious BBQ meal served by RRT volunteers.

Following the awareness day, a number of local business stepped in to support of the RRT fundraising appeal by donating online https://rrtglobal.org/nz/donations/. Our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude is extended to each and every donor who contributed to this worthy cause in helping to ensure the paramedics have the necessary equipment to achieve their lifesaving missions.

Mrs Prince said, “We recognise it is tough all round for people but we are just so heartened by the fact that people put their hands up, step forward and say ‘we want to help’.” She said the funding was incredible, especially in the current Covid-19 environment.

Seventy per cent of mission costs are covered by the Government, with the rest made up from donations — but the fundraising costs to run the service is high.

‘Your donation will help to buy….’ Awareness board at the local Greymouth fundraising day.

Mrs Prince said the service was a “lifeline” on the West Coast. She said if a helicopter reached a patient within 60 minutes and started treatment, their chance of making a full recovery increased by 80%. “Now since the advances we have had with a twin-engine helicopter, we have an intensive care paramedic on every flight and this is a world class service. But we just need ongoing funding to ensure we can get all the best equipment and we can keep the service operating.”

Head crewman Stu Drake demonstrates some of the equipment purchased with the help of fundraising contributed by RRT.
Head crewman Stu Drake demonstrates some of the equipment purchased with the help of fundraising contributed by RRT.

Vern Hoyle said it was important to help an organisation which aligned so strongly with RRTs values of “community, compassion and support” and helped those in need. “Everyone is happy to support what is essential to the West Coast,” he said.

We hope this contribution will make a life-saving difference towards people in our community.


Dear Cameron

Thank you for choosing to make a difference in our community.

We could not operate the Air Rescue Service without the financial support of businesses like yours and no one appreciates this as much as the patients, families and friends of those involved in the rescue missions we complete each and every day.  For many locations, the Rescue Helicopter is a lifeline and your support will enable the Canterbury Westpac Rescue Helicopter and West Coast ROA Mining Rescue Helicopter to be there for all of us in the event of an accident or medical emergency this year. 

Your donation will help save lives.

On behalf of the Air Rescue Trust, the Crew and most importantly our patients and their families – thank you for supporting this critical service.

Stay safe and well.


Christine Prince


 Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust


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