What a way to end my 3 years of helicopter rescue work.

On my second-to-last day working as a doctor on the Westpac Rescue helicopter, a very big day: getting winched 80 feet onto the beach for a landslide with three injured patients, including a two-hour FENZ USAR extrication of an older lady trapped under a demolished house.

On some days you feel like the system worked. This was one of them.

In my time with Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (NRHL) I got to see what truly supportive leadership looks like, educators that are always ‘on’ and teaching, and teamwork from the moment we get the call until the helicopter is back in the hangar, cleaned, stocked, and ready to go again.

The chance to help patients having the worst day of their lives has always been my life’s privilege and an honour. From the first shift in the emergency department 20 years ago to yesterday’s flight.

After three years and some truly memorable moments, I’ll be glad to end the once-a-month 400km roundtrip commute to Ardmore from Whangarei, and the days away from home.

At the end of today’s shift I’ll go home, clean up, rest, and stock up, ready for the next adventure.