Editorial: White knight of the skies

By Mark Story

Whether I'm on the clock or not I keep an ear out for the unremitting chop of rotor blades over my house.

With its powerful torque, it announces itself like the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now, going about its business in our airspace. It cares not if I'm sleeping, gardening, cooking, painting my whare or wrestling my kids.

And no, I'm not a chopper spotter. Like most journalists I report back to the newsroom whenever the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter leaves its hangar.

I always stop, take a note of the time and what direction it's headed. In most cases I pass the intelligence on in the form of texts that read something like this: "Rscue chpa hdn nth 330pm". Or, if I hear it in the morning's small hours: "Chpa hrd abt 4am".

Strangely enough it never looks like it's in much of a hurry.

But its frequency and mileage are astounding.

This week we've included big stories on the efforts of the acclaimed service, whether it be on remote Waipukurau farmland after Monday's excavator plunge or today's swoop on a serious motoring accident near Norsewood.

Yet it also acts as an airborne Florence Nightingale in less dramatic assists and transportations. From where I'm sitting it seems it spends more time in the air than grounded.

Like a giant black mosquito at the beck and call of anyone in distress, it's indiscriminate in its destination, indiscriminate in its duty to care. The crew and this service are part of the Bay's furniture and deserve every accolade - and dollar - thrown their way. I imagine for anyone needing the service, this merciful black machine is regarded more like a white knight.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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