Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter pilot Marty Hanna joins the call for former patients to get together and share stories.
Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter pilot Marty Hanna joins the call for former patients to get together and share stories.

Chopper patients to get together

WESTPAC Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has issued a strange request – it wants more helicopter patients.

But the service isn’t asking people to take risks on the roads or less care in the workplace; nor is it asking people to fall ill.

Instead, the rescue helicopter is searching for people who have needed airlifting by the service after suffering an accident or illness anytime during the service’s 28-year history.

The rescue helicopter has embarked on the search for people it has rescued because it is holding past-patient ‘get-togethers’ during August.

There will be three separate get-togethers during Helicopter Awareness Week: the first will be held in Lismore on August 19; then one in Grafton on August 20; and another in Coffs Harbour, also on August 20.

The rescue helicopter’s media and marketing officer Graham Orams said with more than 6000 missions undertaken by the rescue helicopter there are a lot of past patients the service wanted to make contact with.

“Since 1982, Westpac Life Saver has carried-out more than 6200 missions throughout its 60,000 square-kilometre flight area,” Mr Orams said.

“Occasionally, past patients will come in to say hello or to make a donation but only a small fraction of the patients we’ve carried ever make contact with us.

“The get-togethers will be an opportunity for past patients to share their stories and meet others who have also needed the rescue helicopter.”

The rescue helicopter’s flight area extends from the Queensland border down to Nambucca Heads/Macksville, and out west to the New England area.

Anyone airlifted by Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter who would like to take part in one of the August get-togethers is asked to contact the rescue helicopter’s Lismore office on 6627 4444 or the Coffs Harbour office on 6650 9893.



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