Speaking recently, Mr Kris Beavis, General Manager of the Lismore based Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, has stated he is pleased that a NSW Ambulance decision has been reached in regard to the location of the new helicopter base.
Mr Beavis was reflecting on the announcement by Dr Ron Manning, Executive Director, Health Emergency and Aeromedical Services for NSW Ambulance that a new helibase would remain in Lismore.
“The important element of the decision is that we can move forward with the construction of a new base immediately, allowing for the delivery and commencement of operations of the new AW139 aero-medical helicopters from April 2017, Mr Beavis said.
The question regarding suitability of a new base was first raised in late 2015, and in responding to that enquiry, the Lismore service thought the issue may have been addressed. The matter was raised again in March 2016, with flight data re-considered in the context of specific missions cancelled due to fog. This analysis indicated that our availability to respond to emergencies was in the high 90% bracket.
“I believe that the scope of investigation by the independent aviation auditor has been very thorough and this needs to be recognised in the read of the decision”, he said.
Mr Beavis stated that “The service has been based in Lismore since 1983 and in that time the Service has conducted over 8,300 life-saving missions. Every mission is conducted with an absolute focus on safety, and our availability and outcomes speak to this – we are very proud of what we do for our community’.