The Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust has this year been awarded the Laurie Dowling Memorial Award for its significant contribution to the region. Traditionally the award is given to an individual but this year it has been given to a group, in recognition of their dedication to urgent rescue work.
"In a life and death situation, every minute counts, and helicopter rescue – especially in rural or remote locations – is often the patient’s only chance for survival, and so the Rescue Helicopter really is an essential lifeline in the rural community of Hawke’s Bay,” said Laura Hyde, Marketing & Fundraising Manager at the Trust.
The rescue team is made up of five volunteers, one full time crewman and two pilots, there is also a St John paramedic present on each rescue mission.
“We didn’t even know we were nominated, so it was just wonderful for the crew to have their efforts recognised”
The nature of the team is in line with the spirit of the award, to celebrate those that largely go unrecognised but have contributed in a major way either through their work or voluntarily.
The award is named after the late Laurie Dowling who is described as a man of the land and worked unselfishly to advance farming throughout his career, and was announced at this year's Napier Port Farmer of the Year Awards on Thursday 6 April. Collecting the Award was Peter Dunkerley, Chairman of the Rescue Helicopter Trust.