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Emergency Response by Dave Greenberg


This astonishing real-life book of adventure has the subtitle of ‘Life, Death and Helicopters,’ and it doesn’t disappoint. Dave Greenberg knew from the age of 13, after saving a life for the first time using CPR, that he wanted to work in emergency services, saving others in times of crisis. And after spending 25 years working with Life Flight – the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service in Wellington, he has plenty of stories to tell, amazing true-life tales.


There are mercy dashes to the hospital, there are search and rescue missions, there are times when they can’t rescue everyone at the same time. The daring rescues occur on land and at sea, and probably the most dangerous is what the crew call ‘dope on a rope,’ when a rescuer is dangled from a winch over stormy seas looking to pluck people from ship decks or the heaving seas. This is an impressive career saving people’s lives, but Dave Greenberg doesn’t just share the success stories. He describes the horror of being on a silent hillside with a crashed plane and five dead bodies. And on another occasion, he is bitten during a police raid by a very angry dog.


These are fascinating stories that shine a light on the wonderful work that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service does, and what it is like to work in this sort of extreme career. Certainly, sitting in an office as I do for a living, gives me no real life understanding of this line of work, but Dave’s excellent books does. Thank goodness for Dave and the work he does, and he should be applauded for writing a book about this as well. A true hero, and a book of astonishing stories!


REVIEWER: Karen McKenzie

Random House New Zealand, RRP $40

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