Despite the announcement of government funding, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service need for community support remains.
Despite the announcement of government funding, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service need for community support remains.

Westpac Rescue helicopter still needs community support

THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service is concerned the announcement regarding $2.2million in funding has created a misconception among the community.

General manager Kris Beavis has pointed out the $2.2million will not go to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

"The $2.2million is being provided to the Lismore Base Hospital and Lismore Ambulance Station to provide them with the necessary financial support to make the doctors and paramedics available 24/7, matching the aviation model of 24/7 on base availability of pilot and crew that has been a feature of the local service since the early 1990's," Mr Beavis said.

"To be clear, there is no direct financial advantage for our local Service in this announcement.

"Though we are very pleased that the NSW Government has recognised the value of the medical support model we have operated here since 2009 in partnership with our local Area Health District."

Some were led to believe the injection of government funds would create a new "Super-base" in Lismore from July 2014.

Mr Beavis pointed out that operations will continue from the existing base in Lismore.

Such an arrangement means the need for funding from the community will also continue.

"As the region's rescue helicopter service, our funding needs remain the same," he said.

"We still require the ongoing support of the community to help donate nearly 70% of our annual $6.7m operating budget."
 


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