Lions present rescue helicopter trust donation

Jeff Hill talks to Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter operator Graeme Gale yesterday about his trip...
Jeff Hill talks to Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter operator Graeme Gale yesterday about his trip in a helicopter. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Central Otago Lions club members presented a donation to the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust at Mosgiel yesterday.

Member Jeff Hill, pictured here talking to Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter operator Graeme Gale, last flew in the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter 11 years ago.

He was told the view on the flight from Dunstan Hospital to Dunedin was spectacular, but Mr Hill was too preoccupied to notice.

His "dodgy ticker" had stopped working and, in the mercy dash that followed, the paramedics and the helicopter pilot bought him a new chance at life.

Mr Hill thanked the service again as members of the Cromwell-Lake Dunstan, Alexandra-Dunstan, Alexandra, Maniototo and Ranfurly-Maniototo-Pakeke Lions clubs presented $23,530 to the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Lions Zone 2 chairman James Whyte said the cheque was the clubs' - and their community's - acknowledgement of how important the rescue helicopter service was to all Central Otago.

"Even if we haven't all used the service ourselves, most of us have family members or friends that have."

The helicopter is a lifeline for people who need to be treated in Dunedin, and they deserve all the support they can get."

Rescue helicopter operator Graeme Gale said the "remarkable and generous" donation would help the trust buy expensive medical equipment such as heated blankets, which have been used with increasing frequency to treat people injured and immobilised in cold weather.

 

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