Northland Emergency Services Trust
It currently operates 3 Sikorsky S-76A helicopters (known as Helimed-1, Helimed-2 and Helimed-3) in Search and Rescue, Medevac, and Hospital transfer roles from its base at St John's ambulance centre, adjacent to Kensington Park. There have been several helicopter upgrades since the formation of NEST in 1988, including a Bell 206B Jetranger, a Eurocopter Squirrel, and a MBB/Kawasaki BK 117.
The Northland Electricity Helicopter has a longer range (3hrs 10mins standard or 5hrs 30mins with spare tank fitted), is faster (155 knots) and has more room inside than any other rescue helicopter in New Zealand. Its operational range covers a radius of 270km from its base, making it suitable for all of Northland, extending south beyond Auckland, and off shore work. The helicopters are set up to allow two pilots, 2 patients on horizontal stretchers and four medical support staff to occupy the cabin comfortably.
Funds for NEST are collected through annual appeals, sponsored by Northpower and TrustPower (covering marketing of the campaign), which ensures that each dollar donated goes directly to the helicopter.
- NEST Homepage (official website, including some of the latest callouts attended)