Luke Miller is a man in uniform. A former medic in the New Zealand Army and senior crewman in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Luke now wears the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter uniform as a crewman, and it’s a uniform he wears with immense pride.
“I always knew the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter was popular within the community, I just hadn’t anticipated the high level of love, respect and appreciation the people here in New Plymouth and the wider Taranaki region have for the Trust and its work,” he says.
Originally from Hawkes Bay, Luke joined the New Zealand Army after completing his BSc from the University of Otago, and that’s where his passion for a career in search and rescue began. “I worked as an army medic for eight years before joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force, first as a junior crewman on the Huey and then progressing to a senior level on the NH90.”
In his new role as crewman, Luke is able to combine both his flying experience and that of medic for the Rescue Helicopter, although the part of his role he’s most looking forward to is serving such a close-knit community.
“My wife is from Taranaki and I’m familiar with the region and the community. We’ve alternated Christmas holidays between the families in Hawkes Bay and Taranaki. We are excited to raise our children in the Taranaki region and the opportunities it provides.”
Luke is enjoying all the region has to offer and has already summited Mount Taranaki. “My wife and I climbed the mountain last year, now my eight-year-old daughter has set a personal goal to climb the mountain this year,” he says. “We’re really enjoying being a part of the New Plymouth community and, to be able to serve the community in my role as crewman… well, that’s a real privilege.”