Members of a rural fire brigade had to quickly put theory into practice on Saturday, when they were called to the aid of a man with a nearly severed finger on a remote farm.
On Saturday afternoon the Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter received a callout for an Ashley Clinton resident who had severed the index finger of his left hand while using a wood splitter to cut logs.
Members of Ashley Clinton Rural Fire Brigade were first on the scene.
It's a good example of how useful a rural brigade can be.
Firefighter Marcus Kynoch said they had received a callout just after 4pm to assist with the ambulance.
However it had not arrived at the remote Ashley Clinton farm, west of Waipukurau, by the time fire services did.
Instead Mr Kynoch said they administered first aid, giving the man oxygen and treating him for shock.
The middle-aged man and his wife had actually managed to stop the bleeding themselves before help arrived.
"[His wife] was very happy to see us," Mr Kynoch said.
"She had first-aid training, so had done a good job of stopping the bleeding, but he was in incredible pain."
The petrol-powered wood splitter the man had been using had badly sliced his finger but it was still attached, Mr Kynoch said.
Although he had been in a lot of pain, the man remained conscious throughout the ordeal.
When the ambulance arrived, fire services began choosing and preparing a safe landing site for the helicopter.
In an "interesting twist", Mr Kynoch said on Saturday their brigade had been training for such an event and had finished shortly before they received the callout to help the ambulance.
"It's a good example of how useful a rural brigade can be good help in these situations," he said.
The man was transported by helicopter to Hawkes Bay Regional Hospital for further treatment just before 5pm on Saturday.
Last night an HB District Health Board spokesman said the man was in a stable condition.
Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust general manager Ian Wilmot said by the time the helicopter had arrived on the scene, paramedics had bandaged up the man's finger.
It had not been completely amputated and Mr Wilmot said it was thought the finger could have been stitched back on at hospital.