Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Senior Base Engineer Darryl Stevens.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Senior Base Engineer Darryl Stevens.

Stand by your main-tenance, servicing chopper now easier

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service will be able to take to the skies more easily thanks to new maintenance equipment.

The Lismore base has received two custom-built stands to help its engineers do daily maintenance and pre-flight safety checks of the familiar yellow and red Augusta Westland AW 139 chopper.

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin visited the service's South Lismore headquarters this week to see how senior base engineer Darryl Stevens and his team of three engineers were putting the work stands to good use.

Ms Saffin said these stands - one for the helicopter tail platform and another crossover stand for the cockpit area - were funded by a $10,249 small grant under the NSW Government's Community Building Partnership Program 2020, one which she was very pleased to be able to help deliver.

"Darryl tells me that quality control and safety are paramount to keeping the rescue helicopter ready to fly into action 24/7 so he and his team really appreciate the additional equipment," Ms Saffin said.

"The highly professional Lismore-based team of pilots, crew members, paramedics, doctors, ground crew and support staff clocked up its 10,000th mission just before COVID hit last year.

"This is a remarkable achievement because so many of these call-outs result in local people's lives being saved across the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands."

It's an estimated $3.5 million each year in fundraising to keep the service operating.



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