A desire for more has brought Steph Roberts to the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, joining the crew as a Crewman and Paramedic.
Unique in that she has previously worked for two years as a Crewman with the Royal New Zealand Navy based out of Whenuapai in Auckland. A chance conversation with a friend brought Steph to the Rescue Helicopter.
“I was thinking of the next steps for my career outside of the services and chatting with a friend and they suggested a rescue helicopter. I knew what a rescue helicopter was, but I only really had a superficial understanding,” says Steph.
After some initial research she saw how she could combine her skill set and help more people outside of the navy.
Despite having travelled New Zealand extensively over her eight years in the military, Taranaki was something of an unknown for the English-born Steph who moved to New Zealand when she was 10 years old.
“New Plymouth is a hidden gem! It’s breathtakingly beautiful here, having the mountain meet the ocean with all the farmland in between.”
And it’s not just the spectacular scenery that has caught Steph’s attention, having been blown away by the warmth of the Taranaki community over her short time on the crew.
“I hadn’t realised the importance of the community and how their fundraising directly impacts the service we are able to provide. People have a real connection with the Rescue Helicopter, and you can see that when people just stop in at the hangar for a cup of tea and a catch up!”
Coming from a military background, Steph is used to the camaraderie of a small team but notes the bonds are even stronger in Taranaki.
“I’ve been surprised by the close relationship between the community and the crew, and even between the crew it feels more like a family than work colleagues.”
A passion for learning stems from the study she completed during her time in the services and is working towards completion of a post graduate qualification in paramedicine with the ultimate goal of a Masters of Health Practice.
The self-confessed ‘busy body’ enjoys CrossFit and power lifting, and also loves travel and the outdoors – especially tramping.
Currently living on the border of the King Country and Taranaki, she is looking forward to trying out the vegetarian flavours of the region in due course.