Record year for rescue chopper
LAST year was not only its 30th anniversary, but also a record breaking year for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter flying 366 missions totalling 732 hours.
So it was appropriate that in its busiest year on record, the service also clocked up its 7000th mission.
Chief pilot Andy Baker said the figures are an indication of just how much the service is needed in the region.
"Whilst breaking records is not what we are here for, the fact that we have been able to meet this increased demand will be reassuring to the communities across our 40,000 sq. km flight region," Mr Baker said.
A breakdown of the figures show the service conducted 162 primary missions where the aircraft was tasked to retrieve a patient from an incident or accident scene, 185 secondary missions involving transferring patients from a regional hospital to a major and/or specialist hospital and 19 search and rescue missions.
Mr Baker said the service is gearing up for another busy year which will see three new pilots come on board plus the further training of two new doctors.
"We have been busy putting three new pilots through their paces," Mr Baker said.
"Once they are fully credentialed the service will have six pilots available which will allow us to maintain flexibility in our roster coverage," he said.
To support to the community's heiresses service, you can donate online at www.helirescue.com.au or via phone on 6627 4444.