Rescue on the 'Stairway to Heaven'

A Sunday morning in May say an emergency call to a 74 year old man who had collapsed while tackling the “Stairway to Heaven” track between Paekakarki and Pukerua Bay. 

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Volunteer medic Chad and Paramedic Officer Les were first to respond, knowing it wouldn’t be an easy job to get to.  

“Surrounded by cows and sheep we had to take a quick shortcut through a farm to get to the track. We started the hike carrying all our gear including a lifepak which all together weighs in excess of 30kg! Along the track we bumped into a number of other groups of hikers who all told us the patient was only 5 minutes away, the walk seemed to never end!” says Chad.

As they started attending to the patient the LifeFlight helicopter arrived. The patient was treated and prepared ready for the winch and then air lifted to hospital for further treatment.

Once on the helicopter the patient was conscious and able to talk to the crew on board.

Chad and Les were hopeful the helicopter might come back and give them a lift back down but sadly no such luck. The team headed back down the narrow stairs with all their gear and off they went to another job. All in a day’s work for Chad and Les. 

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