“Rescue Dave” Greenberg

Business and life lessons from a 25-year career on a rescue helicopter

Speaking, workshops and simulation exercises

“You learn a lot about TRUST and being PREPARED working outside a moving helicopter”

Dave Greenberg’s favourite places in the world are standing outside of, hanging below, or jumping from, a moving helicopter.  

Dave was one of New Zealand’s longest serving rescue helicopter crewman. He took part in nearly 4000 helicopter missions, over a 25-year career, on Wellington’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

One his team’s more dramatic rescues was winching a sailor off a yacht, taking part in a round-the-world race, hundreds of km out to sea. He was also part of the team that located and rescued the sole survivor from an Air Force Iroquois Helicopter crash. Just as importantly, he was part of an amazing team that helped thousands of different people, in their hour of need, whether that be a premature baby being transported from one hospital to another for advanced life support, or the victim of a car crash fighting for their life.

Working on (or outside) a rescue helicopter requires a lot of technical skills. The pilot, the paramedic and the rescue crewman all need to be extremely competent at their unique technical skills. Technical skills give us the knowledge and ability to perform specific tasks.

The people on the helicopter also needed to be experts with their essential (some people call it soft or core) skills.

Essential skills are life skills which give us (amongst other things) the ability to:

  • lead, or work well within, a team
  • work in a stressful environment with tight deadlines
  • clearly and concisely communicate with others
  • make good decisions (often without all the required information)
  • reduce and spot errors
  • apply critical thinking and analysis
  • show empathy and compassion

No matter what our job might be, essential skills are required at every level of every organisation.

Dave believes that the essential skills work best in an organisation with a ‘TRUST Culture’. Trust in your team, your equipment, your policies and procedures, your training, and, most importantly, yourself.

Dave can help your organisation develop (or sharpen) it’s TRUST culture and can also help you prepare for any crisis or incident.

Keynote & After Dinner Speaker

Audiences love Rescue Dave, and so do conference organisers!


Developing a TRUST Culture

Essential / Soft / Core Skills

Preparing for Disaster

Crew Resource Mgt 

Emergency / Incident Management

CIMS training

Incident / Crisis tabletop and functional simulation exercises which test your plans and people. 

I enjoyed Dave’s presentation at the International Crisis Managers Conference.  It was obvious that he loved his rescue helicopter career but is equally passionate and excited by his professional speaking career. It is awesome that he is able to translate his exciting experiences from the helicopter to teaching crisis management, which can sometimes be a dry and boring topic.

Stephanie Samuels

Voya Financial, Massachusetts, USA

Dave helped save my mum’s life in 2004 so I was excited to hear that he was speaking at a human resources conference dinner I was attending. He demonstrated how many of the things he had to trust in his life-saving job were the same ones I could use to help improve my team’s performance. Then he brought it all together when he told us the story of an amazing rescue and made me feel like I was in the helicopter with him. He was one of the best speakers I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Jocelyn H.

HR Manager, Wellington, NZ

Emergency Response is my story – it takes you along for my adventures, starting with saving a life of a stranger, on a street in New York City, when I was only 13 yrs old, to some of the dramatic rescues I helped complete in New Zealand. 

The book was published by Penguin Random House NZ in 2017 and is available throughout NZ or Australia, or worldwide, as an ebook.

If you live in New Zealand you can click here to purchase a signed copy of the book via The Neonatal Trust and all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Trust.

The ebook is available via Amazon Kindle, iBooks and other e-retailers for only $1 (or less, depending on your currency!)