Case Studies

‘Kiwi No.8 wire’ innovation for Search and Rescue

Westpac Rescue Wellington

Dave Greenberg is a former New Yorker who now calls New Zealand home after 21 years.  As a crew member and operations manager for Life Flight Trust – a Wellington-based charity operating the Westpac Rescue Helicopter – he’s been working with TracMap to develop a tool that will ultimately help save lives.

Dave says they have been working with TracMap and the new TracLink software to enable Life Flight’s aircraft to be quicker, more efficient and better able to focus on their core job of search and rescue. Their business is all about getting as quickly as possible to the last known position – and then completing a successful recovery.

“TracLink is an affordable system that gives us great benefits.  We looked for a long time for technology that could assist us by using a GPS tracking system that can viewed by multiple parties. There’s also a feel-good factor in that TracLink is a product that has been developed here in New Zealand. We’ve been able to work closely with TracMap and have input into the development of this system. Colin and his team have been really helpful and it’s been good to have a friendly face that we know and can talk to, other than a technical person in the UK or the USA.”

Life Flight Trust has been using TracLink in its training sessions and recently had it installed into the Westpac Rescue helicopter. Life Flight is one of the first of TracMap’s customers to use TracLink in this capacity.

According to Dave, TracLink will take a huge workload off Life Flight. Now that the rescue centre can email GPS positions through to a TracMap unit, a search area can be created targetting specific areas that need to be covered. This will allow Life Flight to focus on its main priority – the search operation.

“It’s an age-old problem when we are doing a search, especially in water as everything looks the same – there are no landmarks. With TracLink, even if we make turns to go back and look at something we can get back on track – real fast. It reduces the chance of holes in the system or guessing if we are in the right area.”

Dave is impressed by the sheer ingenuity of the TracLink system. “We’ve been using various GPS systems since 1991.  The TracMap technology is amazing and has been enhanced by clever people like Colin and his team. To take something that is used for agricultural spraying and spreading and develop it to be used for search and rescue operations is truly innovative.  Now that really is Kiwi No.8 wire stuff.”

Life Flight Trust – Wellington

Dave Greenberg