Masterton car firm backs air rescue team

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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Fagan Motors chief executive Keith Allen standing in front of the Dixon St car yard where the Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter will land on April 30. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
Fagan Motors chief executive Keith Allen standing in front of the Dixon St car yard where the Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter will land on April 30. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Fagan Motors, Masterton, have jumped on board with Life Flight, which last year flew 202 people in need from Wairarapa to urgent medical care.

For the next three years at least, the Dixon St car dealership is sponsoring the life-saving charity with three brand new Mazda vehicles.

"That frees up capital in the organisation to put it where it is most needed," said Fagan Motors chief executive Keith Allen.

He said supporting the charity had been a "no-brainer" as "without them lives would be lost".

"Life Flight is a big thing for us here in Wairarapa. They provide us with the urgent care that can be life saving.

"If you have a heart attack and need urgent surgery with Life Flight you could be in an operating theatre within an hour with the best surgeon."

To celebrate the partnership, the Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter will be visiting Fagan Motors on Saturday, April 30, from 10am-2pm.

The Westpac rescue helicopter will land in the car yard and be open for people to view the equipment on board.

"It's an opportunity for the public to get up close and personal to Life Flight, to talk to the pilot, crew and staff -- to talk to the people who do this job and, to a degree, it's an opportunity for people to thank them."

Mr Allen said people at the event could enter a draw to win a Suzuki motorbike worth $3000, with a minimum donation of $5, with all proceeds going towards the Life Flight Trust.

"The day is about celebrating our partnership -- the beginning of a beautiful and beneficial relationship," Mr Allen said.

Life Flight partnerships and development manager Sherry Herrick said Fagan Motors' support would make a "huge difference" to the charity's operation.

"The money that we would usually need to fund these vehicles can now be put directly into saving lives."

Mrs Herrick said one of the vehicles would be based in Wairarapa and the other two in Wellington.

"These vehicles are used to transport medical equipment and staff between hospitals and our rescue centre.

"For example, if we drop someone off from a road accident to the hospital sometimes a piece of equipment or a paramedic will accompany the patient."

Mrs Herrick said the helicopter must return to base promptly to prepare for the next mission, so they can't hang around at the hospital waiting for the staff or equipment.

The paramedic or equipment would instead be retrieved by car and transported back to base, "so we have everything and everybody back ready for our next mission", Mrs Herrick said.

The vehicles would also be used by crew and fundraising staff to educate the public about Life Flight at events and throughout the community.

"By sponsoring these vehicles it demonstrates Fagan Motors' commitment to helping Life Flight help others."

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