Aircrew of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter worked hard in January.
Aircrew of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter worked hard in January.

Busiest January for helicopter

AIRCREW at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service have coped with the busiest January on record.

Figures show the rescue team flew 44 missions last month, making it the busiest January and the second busiest month on record.

The demand was only exceeded by May 1988, when the region experienced two floods.

Last month’s 44 call-outs comprised 26 primary missions, 16 inter-hospital transfers and two search and rescue efforts. The Clarence Valley area needed the service 10 times.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Lynton Beggs said the professionalism of the pilots, crew and medical staff enabled the high number of rescues to be carried out.

“Although our crews have had an extremely busy January, they are trained to handle it regardless of whatever they encounter,” Mr Beggs said.

Mr Beggs said saving lives was an expensive business, with the average outlay per mission totalling $5000, costing the service $220,000 for the month of January alone.



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