The Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust has just completed a very busy three months, transferring an average of nearly 10 patients per week. The trust’s aircraft has helped a total of 126 patients in those 3 months to receive specialist care in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington.
The trust, based at New Plymouth Airport, operates a fully equipped, pressurised Cessna 421 Air Ambulance. Flights are coordinated by Taranaki Health Board and each patient is accompanied by a TDHB flight nurse.
This year the trust is replacing the engines on the Cessna 421, which are required to be replaced after every 1600 hours of flying time. This occurs approximately every two and a half years. The trust fundraises each year via a telephone campaign and is currently ringing Taranaki residents.
The trust plans to replace the Cessna when the next engine replacement is required (late 2018). To raise funds for a replacement aircraft, the trust will carry out many different fundraising activities over the next two years; including collecting at a Taranaki rugby match and holding a charity auction.
It will be a big project to raise sufficient funds for the new aircraft says Trust Manager, Shona Glentworth. “Ideally we will make a big leap in technology with our next plane so we will need to be very active in raising the money needed,”