Emergency Services category: Greg Brownson gets up at 5.30am every day for a 7 o'clock start.
His helicopters save four people a day on average and he loves his job.
"Even when I'm not on shift I'm still here at 7 to see the guys change over."
Auckland's Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust has 26 operational staff. Mr Brownson is the most senior.
He has a warm, responsible, organised voice - but now that he gets to play with night vision goggles in his fourth decade on the job, he can be forgiven for sounding excited.
Mr Brownson guesses he is responsible for 1.4 million people in the Auckland-Great Barrier-Waihi catchment.
"We have a very small staff turnover. You get a great sense of achievement when you've got people to hospital quickly and safely. Even now I still enjoy going to work."
Retirement is just around the corner, but that doesn't look likely in Mr Brownson's case. Tonight, he's co-ordinating winching training. Tomorrow? Work, plus water polo and maybe a little touch rugby - and some mountain biking if there's time.
The 63-year-old's official title is hangar manager and maintenance control. "I'm still an operational crewman today."
He said it was nice to be thanked, but was humble about being nominated for a Pride award.
"It's really neat to see a patient who comes down months later and brings us chocolate. You see people in their worst state, then in their recovery state.
"The biggest changes since the 1980s would be the helicopters. The biggest technological change would the advent of night vision goggles. They aid our ability to fly at night. And with doctors on helicopters, it's upped the medical attention to patients. Patients are the sole reason we're here: to get to the patient.
"We do a lot of night work ... as at today we're up to 576 missions so far this year from January 1. It's a busy time.
"We do accidents, medical, things like strokes, heart attacks, farm accidents, sporting injuries ... in my 31 years, if you could think of anything humans have done to themselves, we've transported that type of patient.
"We've all got ambulance qualifications."
Mr Brownson joined the Helicopter Rescue Squad as a crewman in 1983. His first role was helicopter lifesaver.
In 1986, he received the 1986 Helicopter Crewman of the year award.