Most people in the Northern Rivers are aware of the amazing work of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service. Local Gary Fox was appointed to the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) of the Service in December of 2017 to represent the Ballina/Lennox Head community.
Gary says plans are to ensure that the Committee is made up of 8 members representing the different geographical areas of the Northern Rivers and the North Coast region.
‘The appointed committee will be made up of an outstanding group of local community and business leaders. They will ensure strong local governance and contribute to the achievement of the strategic goals of our Service. They will provide advice to our board of directors and management team on matters of relevance to local communities,’ he says.
This RAC will play a key role to ensure the service continues its life saving work free of charge and that the decisions made are in the best interests of local communities.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter based in Lismore is a dedicated 24 hour emergency aero-medical rescue helicopter service. It is a locally based not-for-profit charity which needs community and corporate support to fundraise over $3.5m each year to keep its operations flying and free of charge to the patients they transport.
All donations made in the region, stay in our region and ensure the Service can respond when it’s needed most. On average the Service is tasked more than once a day to perform one of three types of missions: primary/accident/emergency response, inter-hospital transfers and search and rescue. Since the Service started in 1982 in Ballina it has performed nearly 10,000 missions. The Service now operates a new state-of-the -art $18m AgustaWestland 139 rescue helicopter which costs approximately $4,000 per hour to fly.
According to Gary, ‘The Rescue Helicopter has served this region for 35 years and nobody has ever had to pay to be assisted and we plan to keep it this way.’
On 26 May they will once again put on the Ballina to Byron Bay Charity Walk, a fun day for everyone. Members of the team raise money at the Lennox Community Market held every 2nd and 5th Sunday of the month.