Waiheke Volunteer Fire Brigade was in action on Saturday afternoon when a Volvo truck burst into flames as it was being driven past the picnic tables on Cowes Bay Road, at the eastern end of the island.
The truck’s cab caught fire as long-time resident Brian Seaward was driving it to deliver sand. Luckily friends Michael Holden and Dave Muggleston, following behind in another vehicle, helped to control the blaze until the brigade arrived.
The truck could not be saved, but the fire was quickly brought under control by the brigade and no one was injured.
It was a quieter week for the St John Ambulance service, with only 16 callouts for the week ending 10 December, compared to 23 the previous week. Half the callouts were for medical reasons; the others the result of accidents.
Three patients were transported to the on-call doctor while one was treated at the scene. The remainder were transferred to hospital – two by the police launch Deodar, four by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and six by Fullers’ ferry.
The rescue helicopter was called five times to the island with both helicopters called to Onetangi at the same time on Wednesday 6 December. The Westpac 2 chopper and crew were called to assist a man in his 70s with a medical complaint at around 4.11pm, followed seven minutes later by the Westpac 1 crew to assist a woman in her 50s also suffering a medical complaint. Both were flown to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition.
On Sunday 10 December, the Westpac 2 team was called to Onetangi at around 5am to transfer a man in his 70s suffering a serious medical condition.
On Monday at 2.57pm, the crew flew a young girl with a medical problem to Starship Hospital in a serious condition and at 10.47pm they flew a man in his 50s to the city hospital in a serious condition.
• Richard Jones