Qld rescue chopper service snatching donors

By Hannah Ross

TELEMARKETERS from a Queensland-based rescue helicopter service have been casting doubt on the future of the local Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service during fundraising calls made to Northern Rivers residents.

Westpac helicopter general manager Perry Wells said his operation had received a number of complaints this week from Lismore, Casino and Kyogle residents who had been contacted by the Queensland service.

According to Mr Wells, the telemarketers are claiming the Westpac helicopter charges for its services, in one case as much as $35,000.

"It is all a complete fabrications," Mr Wells said. "They are making statements about the Westpac service designed to draw allegiance to their service and raise money for their service."

He said any doubt cast over the future of the Westpac helicopter service was damaging and unjustified.

"In light of the fact that we have a new helicopter about to take to the skies, and we have just extended our contract with the Department of Health, these calls are sheer lunacy."

Mr Wells said the Westpac helicopter service never raised funds through telemarketing, mostly because he personally saw telemarketing as an invasion of privacy.



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