SG Fleet's Geoff Tipene (centre left) pictured with Auckland and Northland rescue helicopter crew and fleet of vehicles making a life-saving difference.
While the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT) is perhaps best known for its machines of the rotor-kind, it provides world-class patient care of the four-wheeled kind too.
Thanks to major sponsor SG Fleet going ‘above and beyond’, the service can offer the community more than rescue helicopters. Since 2009, the fleet solutions company’s support has included providing motor vehicles for the charity to use.
Today, SG Fleet’s generosity extends to four fit-for-purpose lease vehicles - resulting in significant improvements to ARHT’s 24/7 operation.
“We’re very much aware of and involved in the wellbeing of the community,” says SG Fleet New Zealand Managing Director Geoff Tipene, who has been in the leasing and fleet management industry for 35 years.
Of immediate benefit to the South and East Auckland communities is having access to world-class emergency care in the form of Ardmore base’s Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV).
In 2020 alone, Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine Doctors and Critical Care Paramedics offered assistance to over 100 local patients in need of urgent medical care. Equipped with life-saving technology, they essentially bring aspects of the emergency room to patients and hundreds of lives have benefitted through this hands-on RRV initiative.
Geoff Tipene says the decision to support Auckland Westpac Rescue over the years has been an easy one. Having long-supported the New Zealand Defence Force with Rapid Response Vehicles based in Whenuapai and Ohakea, his team knows the difference they can make.
While Geoff has never needed the services of a rescue helicopter or rapid response vehicle himself, he has personally seen the crews in action attending to friends on Waiheke Island.
“It’s lovely seeing these professionals at work,” he says, “People at the top of their game.”
SG Fleet also provides vehicles for ARHT’s wider team to use – whether it be picking up blood from Auckland City Hospital, delivering parts for the helicopters or setting up a marquee at community events.
Geoff says there are good synergies with how SG Fleet and Auckland Westpac Rescue look after their people, perfectly illustrated in simple things such as both organisations providing staff with regular fresh fruit.
For Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel, the future is a bright one.
The Whangarei and Whitianga communities also stand to benefit from the Rapid Response Vehicles as SG Fleet’s relationship with the Northland and Auckland rescue helicopter services continues to grow from strength to strength.
Northern Rescue’s Clinical Operations Manager and ARHT’s Chief Paramedic Karl Taylor says having the RRV’s also gives the Critical Care (Flight) Paramedics opportunity to continue working on the road for their ongoing training and development.
“Thank you SG Fleet for providing this much-needed resource,” Karl says, “Helping to bring equality across the Northern region we serve.”