North Coast

Medical Teams hit the Pavement for the Rescue Helicopter this October

Emergency Departments across Northern NSW know the sound of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter all too well. So when the opportunity arose to support the Service, hospital staff jumped at the chance.

Staff from the John Hunter Hospital and Maitland Hospital Emergency Departments have both entered teams in the Rescue Helicopter’s Base to Base virtual challenge. This October, both teams are aiming to cover 1,386km to raise awareness and funds for the well-loved charity.

Collectively the two teams have already raised over $16,000 for the Service. John Hunter Hospital Team Captain Alexandra Griffiths said there were many reasons why her colleagues had been eager to take on the challenge.

“The Rescue Helicopter provides world class pre-hospital care and stabilisation for our patients before arriving at our doorstep and it wouldn’t happen without their team of highly skilled professionals,” she said.

“We love our job as much as you guys love yours, so what a better way to lend a hand than to get on board and raise much-needed funds to keep this vital service running.”

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones OAM said the support being received by medical teams was something else.

“As a Service, we have immense respect for the work Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health workers and Emergency first responders do across our region, so the fact that these great people are supporting the Rescue Helicopter is humbling.”

“Having two teams of Hospital staff is fantastic, but we’d now love to throw the challenge out to other hospitals across Northern NSW to engage with Base to Base and enter a team.”

“Base to Base” is a virtual fundraiser which will see participants walk, run, ride or roll the distance between any of the four (4) Westpac Rescue Helicopter bases, located at Belmont, Broadmeadow, Tamworth and Lismore.

Participants can engage individually or gather a team to complete a ‘mission’ together. The event caters for people of all ages and fitness levels with distances ranging from 42km through to a challenging 1,386km; the distance between all four bases.

Base to Base is free to enter with participants encouraged to raise funds for the Service by sharing their mission with family, friends and colleagues.

Participants can register at

You can follow our participant’s photos, stories and experiences at and

About the Service:

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service was established in 1975 and through community support and fundraising it has become a critical service that operates four (AW139) helicopters from three bases in Belmont, Tamworth and Lismore. Today the Service delivers aeromedical search, rescue and inter-hospital transfers to care for communities from north of the Hawkesbury River, up to the Queensland border.

Along with the Pilot and Aircrew Officer, every primary response mission launches with a dedicated NSW Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic, NSW Health Doctor and depending on the needs of each patient the team may include specialist nursing professionals.

The Community, Business Partners, and the NSW Government through NSW Health and NSW Ambulance provide the funds to ensure the Westpac Rescue Helicopter continues to save lives across Northern NSW.