Friday, 1 October 2010

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (Hunter Region) (NSW) receives a second donation of $17,752 from CYCA SOLAS Trusts

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (Hunter Region) (NSW) receives a second donation of $17,752 from CYCA SOLAS Trusts

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Commodore Phil Arnall presents Richard Jones (General Manager) and Milena Hartnett (Partnership Coordinator), Westpac Helicopter Service – Hunter Region, with the CYCA SOLAS Trusts donation cheque.

by Jennifer Crooks

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (Hunter Region) has received a second donation from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS).

A pledge of $17,752 was made to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service with the first instalment, a cheque for $10,025 was presented recently to purchase a new EAM Aviation T4S Sam series Life Raft for the Service’s existing BK117 Helicopter and ten floatation collars. The 487VO Vest Assy Tri Star Flotation Collars will replace existing equipment that is due to expire.

Later this year, the remainder of the pledge $7,727 will be donated to purchase a Roaring Forties SMA 8000 Series Aviation Life Raft for use in Westpac Rescue’s new Bell 412 Helicopter.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is a community owned and operated aeromedical search and rescue service, serving the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, New England and North West regions. It is one of six helicopter services contracted by NSW Health to perform emergency services in the New South Wales community.

The Helicopter Service provides a free service to over one million people, covering a region of 132,000 square kilometres. Each year the Helicopter Service performs over 1200 missions, rescuing people from accident scenes and transporting critically ill patients from small, rural hospitals to large tertiary hospitals, primarily the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and the Base Hospital in Tamworth.

Making this donation, CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman, Matt Allen said “We are pleased that the CYCA SOLAS Trusts can continue to support the vital Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service operations. This is the second donation within twelve months to this organisation and highlights the importance of this service to the community and its need for constant funding to maintain and update equipment.”

“SOLAS continues to actively contribute to key emergency medical services and search & rescue organizations. Due to the nature of ocean racing and other outdoor recreational activities, emergency medical services are vital in saving lives,” added Matt Allen.

“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is delighted to receive this generous donation from the CYCA’s SOLAS Trust and we welcome them as a new Community Partner” Richard Jones the Service’s General Manager said.

One of the CYCA’s SOLAS Trusts objectives is to assist search and rescue organisations Australia wide. In the eleven years since it was established, in excess of $550,000 has been donated to 18 organisations in every Australian state as well as the ACT.

This is the tenth NSW donation. Other NSW organisations to benefit from CYCA SOLAS Trusts donations are NRMA Careflight (NSW), Snowy Hydro SouthCare Aero Medical and Rescue Helicopter Service, Volunteer Coast Guard Bermagui, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol Sydney & Tuggerah Lakes Divisions, Volunteer Rescue Association Nambucca Heads, St. Vincent's Hospital, and RVCP Eden Division.

Last year with the support of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts, the CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course was launched. This specialist course has been designed for sailors to manage medical emergencies when paramedic and medical assistance is not at hand. It aims to provide sailors and others with additional skills and knowledge to assist them in assessing and providing immediate and longer term management for casualties and illness in the marine environment. The next course commences on Tuesday 5 October, 2010 – log on to for further details.