Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service kept extremely busy over December, with several missions at Scone, Gungal, Aberdeen and Wallabadah

THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is vital to the region as it provides a fast and effective medical treatment to those in need – and an important link to major hospitals in Newcastle, Tamworth and Sydney.

Each month, the service responds to numerous call outs to the Hunter Valley region and December 2018 was no exception. 

Both the Newcastle and Tamworth-based aircraft were tasked to more than 50 missions, with two-to-three being flow on any one day.

“The service can be requested for several reasons, including primary missions (to attend an accident site, to treat and transfer patients to hospital), secondary missions (to transfer patients between hospitals for specialist treatment) and search and rescue (help to locate missing people, rescue and return to safety),” Upper Hunter/Central West community liaison officer Danny Eather said.

“On December 4, a helicopter was tasked to a motor vehicle accident at Scone to assist a 44-year-old male with limb fracture. 

“The patient was transported to John Hunter Hospital.

“The service was also called to Gungal in the Upper Hunter for a motor vehicle accident on the Golden Highway, were a 24-year-old male required assistance for internal injuries. 

“He was transported to John Hunter Hospital for further treatment, too.

“Then, on Christmas Day, the helicopter was tasked on three missions, one of which was in the Upper Hunter to Scone to a drowning accident involving a 51-year-old male. 

“The patient was transported to John Hunter Hospital for further treatment.

“Four days later, the service was called to Aberdeen on December 29, to assist a 78-year-old male with lower limb and facial injuries sustained from a light plane crash. 

“The patient was transported to John Hunter Hospital for further treatment.

“On December 31, the helicopter attended the Wallabadah area to assist a 20-year-old female with head and chest injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.”

Mr Eather said no-one had ever paid to be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

“That’s because people in our community, along with the NSW Government, through NSW Health and NSW Ambulance, provide the funds to ensure the rescue helicopters are there when, and where, they are needed,” he explained.

“And, we thank everyone for their generosity.”

December 2018 mission summary

* Primary missions – 33

* Secondary missions – 19

* Search and rescue - 2