With one stroke of a pen a new chapter in the 34 year history of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was written.
On May 13, Mr Richard Jones, General Manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, formally accepted the first of the new fleet of aircraft that will service the region from the Hawkesbury River in the south to Tweed Heads in the north of the State.
Four Agusta Westland AW139 aircraft will come into service in the first quarter of 2017 after undergoing final fit out and pilot, crews and engineering completing rigorous training regimes.
“I was very conscious during the handover that it was made possible by the wonderful support the people of the regions provide to the Service to help ensure the safety of our communities. Once again I pass on our appreciation to our sponsors, our volunteers and all members of the community who help to make it possible,” Mr Jones said.
Sentiments that were echoed by Kris Beavis, General Manager of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, “The new aircraft represent significant change, which underpins our commitment to helping to provide the best possible service for those in the community who need our help” Mr Beavis said
This milestone sees the realisation of many years of steady growth and stewardship of the local service that has enabled the Hunter and Northern Services to combine to successfully tender for a new ten year contract to provide aeromedical retrieval services for the NSW Ambulance Service.