Executive Management Team

Annabel Toogood

Managing Director

New Zealand Air Ambulance Service Managing Director Annabel Toogood has been working in the air ambulance sector for over 7 years and has extensive experience in mission management, logistics, inter hospital transfers and coordinating international retrievals and repatriations. Annabel leads a passionate team of professionals who are committed to providing the highest standard of aeromedical care.

Mike Toogood (QSM)


Skyline Aviation Managing Director founded and established New Zealand Air Ambulance Service along with his daughter Annabel in 2005. Mike has a 30 year history in aviation bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to NZAAS.

In 1992, he established the dedicated rescue helicopter service in Hawke’s Bay and remained as the voluntary Chief Executive of the Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust for the following 15 years. In 2007 Michael was named by Rotary International as a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ in recognition to his services to the air rescue services in Hawke’s Bay, In the 2008 Queens Birthday Awards, Michael was bestowed with the Queens Service Medal for his contribution to air ambulance services.

He is a founding member of the Aviation Industry Association Air Rescue Air Ambulance Division and served a term as Chair of that division and is currently an active member with Ambulance New Zealand.

Dr. Shay McGuinness (MBChB, FFICM, FRCA, FANZCA)

Medical Director

Dr Shay McGuinness is the Clinical Director of Air Ambulance Services, Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) and a specialist in intensive care at the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Intensive Care Units (ICU) at Auckland City Hospital, one of the busiest ICUs in Australasia.

He has been the Medical Director for NZAAS since 2015 and provides clinical oversight for patient transports performed via dedicated air ambulance or commercial airlines and clinical advice via telemedicine to hospitals throughout the South Pacific.

Outside of medicine, Dr McGuinness is a qualified aeroplane and helicopter pilot and has a keen interest in boating, fishing and scuba diving.

Dr. Ross Freebairn (MBchB, Dip Obst, FANZCA, FRCPE, FCIM)

Medical Director

Ross Freebairn is a full time Intensive Care Consultant and the Associate Dean (Otago University) at Hawke’s Bay Hospital; Medical Director of NZ Air Ambulance Service; Past President of the College of Intensive Care Medicine (of Australia and New Zealand). Dr Freebairn serves as vice President on the Council of the Asian and Pacific Association of Critical Care Medicine. He is a founding member of the BASIC steering group and is actively involved in courses running in NZ, Australia, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific and Europe.

Angela Coward

Director of Flight Nursing

Qualifications / Experience: Angela is the Director of Flight Nursing for New Zealand Air Ambulance in Auckland.

Angela has been a flight nurse for the previous nine years, with the past seven years being full time in Darwin, Australia and more recently in New Zealand. Angela gained her post graduate Certificate of Critical Care Nursing at the Alfred Hospital in conjunction with La Trobe University Victoria and her Post Graduate certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval with JCU in Townsville.

Angela is involved in training of NZAAS flight nurses and forms part of the ICU retrieval flight team in addition to flying on commercial airlines caring for their patients throughout the world.