Helicpoter services decide to bury the hatchet
By Will Jackson
THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service has decided not to take further action against its Queensland counterpart, the service's general manager Perry Wells said yesterday.
Mr Wells said he talked with the chairman of the RACQ CareFlight Rescue Helicopter Service, Peter Young, who acknowledged his organisation had made about 400 phone calls to Northern Rivers residents on May 30 requesting donations.
"CareFlight has conceded the telemarketing into our flight area did occur, and acknowledges that indeed it shouldn't have happened," Mr Wells said yesterday.
Mr Wells said he had received assurances from Mr Young it would not happen again.
CareFlight spokesperson Tracey Harris yesterday said the organisation was investigating claims telemarketers had slandered the Northern Rivers service during the calls.
Ms Harris said the claims were not being taken lightly, but as of yesterday they had not been substantiated.
Whether or not the allegations were proven, Mr Wells said he would not be pursuing the matter.
He said the main thing was it was not going to happen again.
The two services are now working towards a formal agreement on fundraising regions.
Mr Wells was alerted to the CareFlight telemarketing campaign last week by concerned and annoyed Northern Rivers residents, prompting him to issue a warning statement that any telephone marketing for funds was not coming from his organisation.
Mr Wells yesterday said that as long as he was in charge of the rescue service it would not participate in telephone fundraising. "I personally believe it's an invasion of privacy," he said.