February 18, 2019
A man who was run over and dragged behind his own truck was saved by the quick-thinking actions of Auckland's emergency helicopter service staff.
Paramedics understood the man, in his 60s, was working behind his truck in Wellsford, north of Auckland, on Sunday evening when he was struck by the vehicle.
It ran over his chest and abdomen at a very slow speed, Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman Lincoln Davies said.
The man was critically injured, with multiple chest, abdomen and back injuries.
Intensive care paramedic Marcel Driessen said the swift actions of first responders on the scene meant the man had a fighting chance at survival.
"They realised that he was severely injured and called highly qualified assets to help.
"It made a huge difference being called right away ... he was able to get to the main Auckland trauma hospital really quick, it probably saved his life."
He said to go from Wellsford to Auckland City Hospital at that time of night would have taken more than an hour by road, but it took about 22 minutes by helicopter.
"It was a real life-saving mission that one."
On Monday morning the man was still in a critical condition in hospital, but was stable.
Driessen said it was a "crazy busy weekend" for the trust's two helicopter crews.
There were 11 missions to Auckland's outer reaches and Hauraki Gulf islands to patients suffering from medical conditions and accidental injuries.
At about 11am on Sunday, a crew was called to Kawau Island to assist a man in his 80s who had hurt his back and chest in a small vehicle rollover.
He was flown to Auckland hospital in a serious condition.
On midday Sunday, a woman was airlifted to hospital after she fell off a segway and hit her head.
Driessen said the emergency rescue helicopter service had already completed 30 more missions since the start of the year, compared with the same period last year.