The Westpac Rescue helicopter hovers over a police boat near Goodwood Island as part of
The Westpac Rescue helicopter hovers over a police boat near Goodwood Island as part of "hi-line" aerial training. Photo: Robert Hore

DRAMATIC: Hi-line helicopter action over the Clarence

IT MAY have looked like a scene from an action movie, but it’s all part of the work involved in keeping our rescue helicopter service operating.

The dramatic photos taken by Robert Hore of the chopper hovering over a police launch near Goodwood Island was part of “hi-line” training which is an annual requirement for the rescue service annual requirement for our pilots, aircrew and the medical teams (paramedics and doctors) from NSW Ambulance and NSW Health who fly on every mission.

A spokesman for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service said the training simulated the transfer of the medical team from the helicopter onto a moving vessel to recover a patient at sea.

The crew also took the time to perform some winch training as well.

The helicopter service recently performed its 10,000th mission since its inception.

Launched in Ballina December 1982 it has continually evolved and improved for 38 years.

In partnership with NSW Ambulance, the local service now completes on average of over 400 missions each year from Lismore airport. It operates 24-7 with a NSW Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic and NSW Health Doctor providing advanced medical care on every mission. Along with Tamworth and Belmont, the Lismore base is one of three operations providing an integrated helicopter emergency medical service throughout the Northern half of NSW and flying on average over 1,500 missions per year.

These include search and rescue, pre-hospital emergencies and inter-hospital transfers.



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