About 500 people got a closer look at the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter during their biennial open day, yesterday.

It was a chance for community members to take a behind the scenes peak at what this vital Hawke's Bay service does, with a tour of the Orchard Rd hanger.

"We do this every second year, it's been awesome to have the jaws of life here, the new police car and ambulance - to show people what we do and who we work with," marketing and fundraising manager Louise Harvey said.

People were able to try out a winch used for rescues, sit in the pilot's seat and meet a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.


The helicopter is on call for any emergency, but without donations from sponsors big and small they would not be able to get off the ground.

"We need to fundraise $1.2 million a year, it's really important for the public to see what it's all about."

There was an upbeat atmosphere, "buzzing" with happy families.

"It's been amazing".

The service attends more than 300 missions a year, providing urgent medical assistance at accident scenes or completing hospital transfers for the critically ill.