Horse riding accident cuts short chopper open day
MIDWAY through the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Open Day the hangar doors closed and inflatable toys and obstacle courses were dragged from Lismore helipad.
The Westpac chopper was called to Shark Creek to rescue a patient in cardiac arrest after they fell from a horse.
Although the mission disrupted the annual family fun day momentarily, onlookers were impressed to see the chopper in action.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter fundraising manager Zeke Huish said Saturday's mission "brings it home to the community".
"It just shows how random these events can be. When someone needs us, we respond. It could be anyone," Mr Huish said.
"It was a good chance to show the community exactly how it works," he said.
At the open day was Australian ironman and dual Olympian Ky Hurst, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Schools Program ambassador.
Mr Hurst, who attended with two-year-old son Koa, said the service resonated with him growing up in The Gold Coast.
"As a boy, whenever I saw that chopper overhead it made me feel safe," he said.
Mr Hurst said he was proud to be ambassador of the school's program which has reached 180,000 students.
The Open Day activities included winch rides, face painting, a jumping castle and an NRL pass the ball promotion.
Mr Huish said the open day allowed the service to thank the community for support.