Westpac chopper men will wax for 'rip-it' fundraiser
THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter men will be exposing more than they bargained for in latest fundraising campaign - Rip it for Rescue.
Past and present male crew, pilots, patients and staff have bravely agreed to have their chests waxed if $10,000 can be raised to help support the life-saving service.
Former patient Sam Ivers, who was flown to hospital with suspected spinal injuries during a rugby game in Casino in August, said getting his chest waxed was a small price to pay for the service the helicopter provides.
"I got injured on the footy field when I got kicked in the head and everyone around me and the ambulance officers thought it would be the best option to call the Westpac, just because it was my second spinal injury and my fourth concussion," he said.
"It's really good to have the reassurance that this service is so close, and easily disposed to situations."
Westpac Helicopter general Manager Kris Beavis, who will also be taking part in the wax-off, said it was "a bit of madness" but hopefully something the community would get behind.
"It's something different and there's a bit of fun it in," he said.
"The boys are trying to work out what the easiest way to get through that event on the 19th of December is without too much loss of dignity and too many tears."
Mr Beavis said the helicopter relies heavily on community support and donations to operate.
"We're 364 days, 24/7, so the money that comes in from the community, we can't thank them enough for what they do for us," he said.
"It makes sure we've got the helicopter available when it's needed.
"We run it over 96% availability because it's really important that when that call comes in, whether it's making sure the maintenance is up to date, which it always is, and having the pilots and crews, it's just really important that all those pieces of jigsaw come into play."
The waxing will take place on Friday December 18 at Lismore Central.
To find out more or make a pledge to help the service reach its $10,000 target go to www.helirescue.com.au or call the helibase on 6627 4444.