Whakaari and the response from the National Air Desk.

Ms Rebekah Judd1

1St John, Auckland, New Zealand

This will be a presentation of the timeline of the events that occurred from an Air Desk perspective; the tasking of helicopters with the right level of crewing, where the helicopters were coming from, backfilling helicopters to areas where there was no longer any helicopter and the impact and flow-on effects of this.

At 14:36 St John Ambulance comms centre was alerted to an eruption on White Island/ Whakaari. The National Air Desk was integral to the dispatch of appropriately skilled personnel to the scene. This presentation will discuss the timeline of events that occurred from an Air Desk perspective and the dispatch of helicopters to the four operational areas: White Island, Whakatane Wharf, Whakatane Airfield, and Whakatane Emergency Department. This presentation will not go into the operational management at these scenes, but will discuss the benefits of centralised Emergency Air Ambulance tasking, how the helicopters are tracked, and how we attempted to track where the patients were being transported to for tertiary level care. It will also discuss how we managed ‘business as usual’ workload.


Rebekah Judd, Intensive Care Paramedic, Clinical Practice Manager Northern Region, St John. Manager of personnel on the National Air Desk

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