Bingara and Warialda’s Helipad’s official opening

January 20, 2012

The Bingara and Warialda Helipads will be officially opened this Wednesday, January 18. The Bingara community will be acknowledged for its community effort of raising $18,000 towards a new helipad at Bingara Multi Purpose Service (MPS) when it’s opened at 10.30 am Wednesday while the Warialda community will be acknowledged at 1.00 pm for its impressive community effort of raising $24,000 towards a new helipad at the Warialda Multi Purpose Service (MPS).

The helipads will be officially opened by HNE Health Chief Executive Michael Di Rienzo. General Manager, McIntyre Cluster Maree Bacigalupo said the event was an opportunity to acknowledge the commitment of the local community who tirelessly fundraised for the helipad.

“It is a wonderful achievement for these communities to raise this amount of money and I thank them for their generosity and their continued willingness to lend a hand when needed,” Ms Bacigalupo said.

“In particular I would like to thank Essential Energy for donating more than $50,000 worth of work in relocating power lines, Gwydir Shire Council and the many other generous community groups, clubs and individuals who contributed to this worthwhile cause.

“I also thank our staff for their ongoing support, in particular the fundraising committee who organised many fundraising activities to contribute to the helipad.”

Ms Bacigalupo said the helipads are a great benefit to the community now and into the future. “Having a functional helipad onsite means there will be smoother transfers of critically ill patients within shorter time frames to regional specialist hospitals, which is a positive for everyone in the community,” Ms Bacigalupo said.

Initial planning for the Bingara helipad was done in conjunction with Westpac Rescue Helicopter representatives, MPS staff and members of the Bingara Local Health Advisory Committee. Hunter New England Health also consulted with the Medical Retrieval Unit as well as NSW Health’s Aviation Consultant Safety Accredited Auditor, to finalise plans and guidelines for the medical helipad.

During the official opening of the Bingara Helipad, a time capsule that needed to be retrieved during construction of the helipad will be reburied. “The Board of the Bingara District Hospital originally buried the capsule on the grounds in December 1988,” Ms Bacigalupo said.

“The capsule was buried during a presentation to Dr Frank Hollinshead during his retirement with the intention of opening in 30 years time. “We will be reburying it, to be opened in 2018".