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westpac life saver

Rescue Helicopter News summer 2011

THE safety of flying at night has drastically improved for Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crews, following the installation of night vision goggles (NVG) for the first time on one aircraft. NVGs allow the crew to see with much greater clarity at night, which ultimately means the rescue helicopter will be able to undertake more night missions. This will improve the chances of rescue for people who are injured or lost at night and in need of urgent medical attention. It also means the rescue helicopter will be available to assist in more police search and rescue activities at night. The rescue helicopter’s chief pilot Lynton Beggs says the use of NVGs is the single most important risk-reduction strategy the rescue helicopter service can implement. “The ability of the helicopter crew to identify survivors or lost bush walkers has been greatly enhanced because the NVGs greatly magnify the smallest

Helmet with NVGs

Rescue Crewman Jimmy Keough wearing NVGs

light sources such as a mobile phone, a cigarette lighter or a small battery operated torch from up to 5km away,”

WIN a Kimberley Cruise for 2! Here’s your chance to see the spectacular Kimberley coastline - one of the most dramatic in the world. Extraordinary sunsets, secluded beaches, thriving wildlife, distinctive red cliffs, ancient art galleries and more. To go in the draw to win a 10-day Kimberley Discovery Cruise for 2 (valued at $10,990), all you

have to do is become a Westpac Life Saver ‘Rescue Partner’ and donate a regular amount to the rescue helicopter every fortnight, month or quarter. See full details and entry form on page 3. And a big thanks to Kimberley Discovery Cruises for donating this magnificent prize as their way of supporting the Service.

says Lynton. The cost of implementing the rescue helicopter’s NVG project was high – more than $300,000. There were costs involved in modifying the helicopter cockpit lighting (including the instrument panel lights and external lighting), purchasing four sets of NVGs, purchasing NVG-compatible crew helmets and providing crew members with comprehensive NVG training. Ultimately though, the rescue helicopter is now even better equipped to serve the communities of the northern region, which can only result in more lives being saved.

news s u m m e r 2 0 1 1

For the Record

I LOVE SUMMER – we are fortunate to live in one of the best places in Australia, and summer gives us the opportunity to enjoy our area’s natural beauty and also spend time doing what we like to do outdoors. Summer is also the busiest time of year for our dedicated team of pilots and crew. At this time every year, we are called to attend an increased number of motor vehicle accidents, camping and bushwalking accidents and beach rescues as people travel to enjoy their holiday season and be with their loved ones. During this time of year, we can fly as many as six life-saving missions a day at an average cost of $8500 per mission. Yes, operating a 24/7 aero medical service is extremely expensive. And the last 12 months have undoubtedly been our most challenging yet, requiring an additional $1million to keep our operations on track and continue the important business of saving lives. With some significant costcutting, increased fundraising activity, and the support of the local community, I’m pleased to say that we have made some significant inroads. But we still have a way to go. On behalf of rescue helicopter patients, past and present, we thank you, and urge you to continue to support our vital service this year. Kris Beavis – General Manager Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter


Community groups We are tremendously grateful to the hundreds of community groups across the region whose support has helped Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter stay in the air, saving lives for almost 29 years. Unfortunately, we can’t list them all in this newsletter; however we do want to make special mention of just a few. The following groups, many of which have been supporting us since our inception in 1982, have contributed an enormous amount of time, energy and valuable funds to our service. Thank you!

Lions Clubs: Tenterfield, Kyogle, Lismore Inc. and the City of Lismore Inc. Rotary Clubs: Ballina, Lismore West Inc. and Tenterfield. Red Rock Bowling & Recreation Club ltd. Byron Bay Malibu Club Inc. Casino RSM Women’s Bowling Club Gruppo Alpini Coffs Harbour Inc. CWA of NSW Bangalow

Urbenville & District Bowling Club Ltd. Woodenbong Hoy Players Seventh-day Adventist Church Op Shop North Coast Truck Drivers Inc. Lismore Ladies Benevolent Society Grafton Truck Drivers Social Club Evans Head Women’s Bowling Club Byron Bay Winter Whales

Ballina Housie

Canal Rd Bowling Club presented with plaque

The rescue helicopter was the big winner at Ballina Housie recently, when Canal Road Bowling Club notched up an outstanding $100,000 in donations to the service. The club has been running Housie every Monday evening to support the rescue helicopter since 2006. Rescue helicopter general manager Kris Beavis paid tribute to the board, staff and Housie-goers at Canal Road Bowling Club for their exceptional contribution and ongoing support.

Volunteer profile

Behind the scenes Volunteer Sue Donaldson with grandson Louie George

The engineering team: Heath McDonald, Patrick Wright, Craig Hamilton and John Wise

There are many dedicated people who work behind the scenes to keep Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter saving lives. Engineering Manager Heath McDonald and his committed team (chief engineer John Wise, engineer Craig Hamilton and Patrick Wright) spend just as much time on the ground (maybe more!) making sure the rescue helicopters are in top condition, as the crew do in the air. Their most recent achievement has been the modification of the helicopters to support the new Night Vision Goggle technology.

Rescue Helicopter News

summer 2011

Sue Donaldson knew when she retired she would volunteer for the service that saved her grandson Louie’s life. Four years ago, Louie was born with underdeveloped lungs and needed to be airlifted from Coffs Harbour Hospital to John Hunter Hospital. Louie has now fully recovered, and Mrs Donaldson now volunteers her time at the Coffs Harbour Op Shop. “I work with amazing volunteers who like me, love supporting the rescue helicopter service,” says Sue. If you would like to volunteer, phone Sue on 6627 4444 or Bek on 6650 9893

Here is a front seat view of the helicopter ‘dashboard’ to give you an idea of just how expensive some items can be.

Altitude horizontal indicator

Caution & warning panel $13,899

Multi indicator



NVG indicator


$11,338 each

caution & warning panel FLIGHT & NAVIGATION

Air speed indicator




Horizontal situation indicator





Auto pilot


s u m m e r 2 0 1 1 costs

Saving lives isn’t cheap but worth every cent


Cyclic grip


Collective lever

$4,642 radio NAVIGATION

Electric master panel and fuel master panel

Operational control panel (intercom & radio) $6,000

Approx $600 per switch


Become a Rescue Partner today and go in to the draw to win a 10-day Kimberley Discovery Cruise for 2 (valued at $10,990). Our Rescue Partner Promotion is our way of saying thanks to the many individuals and businesses that support our vital life-saving service with regular donations from their bank account or credit card. Our Rescue Partner Program is vital because it provides us with critical funds to be used for major capital

expenditure like Night Vision Goggles. With this regular income stream, we can also plan ahead and continue with our long term aircraft replacement programs. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now by filling in the form below and posting to: Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, PO Box 822, Lismore NSW 2480. (for full terms and conditions please visit www.helirescue., competition only available for NSW residents, competition closes 22/12/2011)

Yes I want to help the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter save more lives!

Payment details 1. By Credit Card (Please select card):









Aircraft radio navigation



Cardholder’s name:


Credit Card No:



Expiry Date:


Phone: 2. By Direct Debit Financial institution:

E-mail: Please accept my monthly donation of $10



$250 Other $



Account Name:


Account Number:



A round the region s u m m e r 2 0 1 1

Around the Region Our flight area covers more than 60,000 square kilometres - from the Queensland border, south to Nambucca Heads/Macksville and west to Tenterfield and Glen Innes. Should the need arise, the rescue helicopter can be tasked to any location in New South Wales. ‘Around the Region’ profiles just a few of the 330 plus life-saving missions our crew flew in 2010.


November 8 The rescue helicopter airlifted a 19-year-old male with suspected internal and spinal injuries from a property near Drake to Lismore Base Hospital following a motor-cross bike accident.

South Golden Beach

November 11 The rescue helicopter was tasked to search for two people who were reportedly in trouble in the water after their boat sunk at Cook Island, off Fingal Head. Both people were later found uninjured, after they had swum ashore to Cook Island.

Coffs Harbour

October 15 An 82-year-old male who had suffered multiple cardiac arrests while on board the ‘Dawn Princess’ cruise ship was airlifted to Coffs Harbour Hospital . The Dawn Princess was 50 nautical miles off the coast when the rescue helicopter arrived on scene.


19-year-old injured male at Drake

Rescue Helicopter News

Winching a crewman on Mt Warning

Mount Warning

June 6 A 15-year-old injured bushwalker was airlifted from Mt Warning to Tweed Heads Hospital.

The boat found at South Golden Beach

Winching a crewman on board the Dawn Princess

summer 2011

Grassy Head

October 7 A male fell eight metres off a cliff onto rocks at Grassy Head Holiday Park (south of Macksville) and was airlifted to Coffs Harbour Hospital for emergency treatment.

Injured male on rocks at Grassy Head.

November 20 A 41-yearold diabetic female was airlifted from Glenn Innes Hospital to Lismore Base Hospital for specialist treatment after falling unconscious and suffering complications.


November 21 Two males in their early 50s were involved in a double motor-bike accident on South Arm Road, Maclean. One male suffered serious head injuries and the other abdominal pains, and both were airlifted to the Gold Coast Hospital, Southport.


Motor vehicle accident at Woodburn

October 19 An accident on the Pacific Highway, north of Woodburn, left a male cane truck driver in a serious but stable condition. The rescue helicopter airlifted the male to Lismore Base Hospital.


Tom Graham in helicopter months after the accident

July 24 The rescue helicopter saved the life of a 14-year-old male, who was left unconscious and suffering a serious brain injury after an accident at Ulmarra Camp Draft Competition. For the first time, the rescue helicopter doctor performed an RSI (Rapid Sequence Induction) on site before the male was airlifted to Gold Coast Hospital.

Motor vehicle accident at Maclean


January 9 The rescue helicopter airlifted two injured females who had been involved in a car accident on Goondiwindi Road, just outside of Tenterfield to Mater Hospital in Brisbane.


June 2 Eight-year-old Maya Peart, from Casino, suffered a lifethreatening asthma attack and needed to be airlifted by the rescue helicopter to the Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane for paediatric care.

s u m m e r 2 0 1 1 around the region

Glen Innes


November 24 Two people suffered abdominal, chest and leg injuries after a two-car accident on Coorabell Road, near Byron Bay. Both were airlifted to Lismore Base Hospital for emergency treatment.

Maya and Sharon Peart at the helibase months after accident Motor vehicle accident at Coorabell

Last year, we flew more than 300 life-saving missions. Your support made this possible.


sponsor relations s u m m e r 2 0 1 1

A new sponsor Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter welcomes Tweed Daily News as its newest major sponsor. The twoyear sponsorship, valued at $150,000, includes a weekly rescue helicopter column (featuring stories on local rescues, patients and events), together with advertising to be used to promote the service’s major events and fundraising activities. The newspaper joins the rescue helicopter’s other major

sponsors – NBN, The Northern Star, Coffs Coast Advocate, The Daily Examiner, Radio ZZZ/2LM, Cassino and CHT. The combined support of these sponsors allows the rescue helicopter service to save money on advertising and promotion and thereby channel more funds directly into its core business of saving lives.

Tweed-based director John Griffin and Tweed Daily News general manager Geoff Jennings with rescue crewman Kale Hopper and Mark Turner and pilot Tom Hulse

Sponsor a pilot, and more! Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has launched a new range of sponsorship opportunities, aimed at providing local businesses with the chance to showcase to the community their commitment to keeping the helicopters in the air, saving lives. There a number of sponsorship packages, providing a multitude of benefits to your business - such as logo placement, signage, advertising, media & PR, hospitality, business networking, crew promotions, staff engagement opportunities and much more.

The pilot/crew sponsorship enables businesses to donate valuable funds to support the estimated annual costs of training and outfitting a pilot or crew person. Helicopter Sponsorships range from $1000-$35,000. Categories include Major, Pilot/Crew, Volunteers Program, Ambassadors Program, Direct Mail Program, Rescue Helicopter News and Rescue Club sponsorships. Event Sponsorships start at $500 – choose from the 4WD Caravan Camping & Marine Show, Hell on Wheels Cycle Tour, Rescue

Chief pilot Lynton Beggs and crew chief Roger Fry

Helicopter Open Days, Gala Ball, International Women’s Day Luncheons, Wills Day, Adventure Challenge, and the Trinity Drive Xmas Light-Up.

For more information, contact Nyree Epplett on 0412 665 644 or email

We would like to acknowledge some of our event sponsors. Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s fundraising events are vitally important in raising funds. Our events would not have been possible without their support.

Gala Ball Sponsor

hell on wheels gold Sponsor

hell on wheels and 4wd Caravan camping & marine show NAMING RIGHTS

hell on wheels silver Sponsor

If you would like to become a rescue helicopter event sponsor, please contact 6627 4444, or email


Rescue Helicopter News

summer 2011

Yellow Pages 4WD Caravan Camping & Marine Show

Crowds at the 2010 Yellow Pages 4WD Caravan, Camping & Marine Show

2010 International Women’s Day celebrations

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past and present. In 2011, International Women’s Day celebrates its golden anniversary, and Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter will


host special fundraising luncheons in Lismore and Coffs Harbour to celebrate the occasion. Following on from the success of last year’s events, more than 200 people are expected to attend so make sure you book early. For tickets or more information, please phone 6627 4444.

Save the Date!

Make sure you get along to the 2011 Yellow Pages 4WD Caravan Camping & Marine Show (July 8-10) – the biggest leisure show of its kind in regional NSW. Over three fabulous days you will be able to see hundreds of the very latest industry products all in the one place, while discovering all there is to know about caravanning, motor homing, camping, boating and four wheel driving in Australia. With more than 200 exhibitors and loads of entertainment

There is a lot happening in 2011 at Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, so be sure to put these dates on your calendar.




Thanksgiving service

February 20


International Women’s Day

March 8


Wills Day

March 23-24


Golden Hearts Gala Ball

May 14


Yellow Pages 4WD Show

July 8-10


Opera at The Channon

July 24


Open Day

August 20


Helicopter Awareness Week

August 21-28


Yellow Pages Hell on Wheels

October 8-15


Trinity Drive

December 13-24


For more information on these events phone 6627 4444 or visit,

2011 for the whole family, it’s a must-see event. Best of all, it is a vital fundraiser for Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and has raised more than $900,000. For more information on the event, please phone 6627 4444 or visit www.

s u m m e r 2 0 1 1 upcoming events

International Women’s Day 100th year!

Wills Day Are you interested in updating or creating a will? With the support of the region’s best solicitors, Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter is holding its annual Wills Day on Wednesday March 23 and Thursday March 24. The cost is $70 (single) and $120 for a couple. For a list of participating towns, or to make an appointment to create or update your will, please phone 6627 4444.



Robert Moore

Meet pilot Robert Moore, the latest addition to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter team. Name: Robert Moore Position: Pilot Age: 45 Lives: Lismore. New job: Simply, awesome. People can make or break any job and there is a wonderful crew of people here. There is a great team spirit working toward a greater goal and it is a beautiful part of the world

to live and raise a family. Previous jobs: 10 years experience on multi engine helicopters, working for the Royal Australian Air Force, Search and Rescue and 10 years previous experience in aircraft maintenance on single engine helicopters. Overseas work: I worked for a Hong Kong based company flying AW139 and S76 helicopters between Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen. It was a good experience for

First ever full-time crewman Meet Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s first full-time senior crewman – 25-year-old Jethro Lampe from Lennox Head. Jethro, who is an arborist by trade, began working for the rescue helicopter in June 2009. He was appointed to Senior Rescue Crewman in August 2010, and loved it so much he decided to make a career out of it. Jethro’s role will see him overseeing the team of eight rescue crew, and working closely alongside Crew Chief Roger Fry. As a Westpac Life Saver rescue crewman, Jethro is qualified and proficient in the operation of both equipment techniques necessary to be dispatched from the helicopter to people in distress and to render the necessary aid prior to evacuation by the most appropriate means. This includes going down

Senior rescue crewman Jethro Lampe

New pilot Robert Moore

the family as well. Leisure: Invest time with

family, beach and country. We are looking forward to involving the kids in team sports and an outdoor lifestyle again. When it all began: I was fortunate enough to have some good mentors and first went solo in an aeroplane at the early age of 16, although I have been flying helicopters professionally now for 20 years.

Lismore op shop milestone The rescue helicopter op shop in Lismore recently chalked up an outstanding milestone - $500,000 in funds raised for the chopper since 2002. Congratulations to our many dedicated volunteers at the shop, and to all the people who have donated goods over the years and who regularly shop there. You are helping to fund a service that has saved over 6000 lives throughout the region. The success of the Lismore op shop has led to an expansion of the rescue helicopter’s op shop program, with shops now also located in Ballina,

the winch, scaling cliff faces and swimming. Many of the rescue helicopter’s rescue crew hail from surf life saving backgrounds. Needless to say, rescue crew need to maintain an extremely high level of fitness. Not that Jethro will have much trouble in this area – he’s a successful triathlete in his spare time!

Lismore Op Shop volunteers

Contact U s – W e stpac L if e S av e r R e scu e H e licopt e r LISMORE 60 Brunswick Street, PO Box 822 Lismore NSW 2480 Tel: 02 6627 4444 Fax: 02 6621 4288

COFFS HARBOUR 46 Aviation Drive, Coffs Harbour Airport Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 Tel: 02 6650 9893 Fax: 02 6652 6851

Email: For the latest information on the happenings at the Helibase visit: ABN: 25 003 171 373

In line with the rescue helicopter’s Environmental Sustainable Program we are being environmentally friendly by using recyclable paper.

Rescue Helicopter News

Grafton and Coffs Harbour. All shops are staffed entirely by volunteers. Donations of clothing, shoes, accessories, books, bric-abrac and household items are always appreciated. Please deliver your pre-loved goods to one of our op shops during opening hours. And make sure you stay and browse for a while! Lismore – 69 Union Street, 6622 0488 Ballina – 2/8 Martin Street, 6681 1135 South Grafton – 68 Through Street, 6643 3355 Coffs Harbour – 22 Scarba Street, 6650 0591

summer 2011 The printing of this newsletter has been made possible due to the support of

Donate Now If you would like to make a donation to Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, call the helibase on 6627 4444, visit or donate at any Westpac branch.

Summer 2011  


Summer 2011