Letter to the Editor from Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

May 20, 2009

The staff and crew at the New England North West based Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service are constantly astounded by the innovative and extraordinary acts of generosity shown by our supporters.

This week is National volunteer Week across Australia and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service would like to thank its 200 plus registered volunteers, organised in local support groups in towns and communities across the New England and North West region.

They are an integral part of the fundraising team for the Service.

With an annual operating budget of $3 million, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is heavily reliant upon community support. Our Volunteer Support Groups make that possible.

The volunteers work tirelessly and continue to find more and more ways to raise money for the Service.

They not only help keep our helicopter in the air but also serve as outstanding ambassadors and advocates – helping to keep the community informed about the Service and its activities.

Events that the volunteers coordinate are as diverse as the areas they come from and include Raffles, Golf days, Horse Rides, Agricultural initiatives including Wheat, Sheep & Beef Drives, Bike Rides and Wine Nights.

The volunteers all share an enthusiasm and passion for their work and assist with creating awareness throughout the community.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is about to move to the next stage of operations with the development of a permanent helicopter base at the Tamworth airport.

This will allow for an increase in operating hours, provide accommodation for medical staff and crew and further improve emergency response times.

It is with the commitment of our dedicated volunteers that our Service can maintain world-class standards and with your support we will continue to ensure the long-term success and viability of our community based emergency rescue helicopter, which is provided free of charge to people of our region wherever lives are threatened.

Yours sincerely
Clif Marsh, OAM Chairman
Richard Jones, General Manager