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Northern NSW : Rescue Winter15
The helicopter was in use transporting a newborn baby from Armidale to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital. The Service was tasked to assist because it can accommodate a humidicrib, and has the ability to land in different spaces. In this case it was the oval across the road from Armidale Hospital. WesTrac’s Wellness Group incorporated a gold-coin donation to the Service as part of a barbecue. Despite the helicopter no-show, the Service’s Community Liaison and Media Officer, Barry Walton, commended the response from WesTrac employees. WesTrac Team Leader of Accredited Training, Ross Hatton, 52, said he was more than happy to have $10 a week deducted from his pay. Mr Hatton has a number of reasons for donating and they stem from his mechanical background as well as lessons learnt living in Third World countries. ‘T he Rescue Helicopter is a great service,’ Mr Hatton said. ‘From my automotive knowledge I understand the cost of maintenance and fuel. It must be huge.’ Mr Hatton has lived in The Emirates, Sri Lanka, and then Bangladesh for three years before returning to Australia and taking up his role at WesTrac. ‘I worked for the UN for three years. I was an adviser for the ILO (International Labour Organisation) on skills training for the underprivileged,’ he said. ‘I remember in Bangladesh there was a fire in a factory and the fire station was only 1.5 kilometres away. But the road was so jammed with traffic that the fire engines couldn’t get there and everyone in the factory perished. ‘So I have a good understanding of the need for emergency services. ‘We don’t realise how lucky we are living in Australia. ‘T he Rescue Helicopter does a great job in difficult circumstances. The crew risk their own lives and I don’t think they get enough thanks.’ Mr Hatton is a long term payroll deduction contributor to the Service having donated a few dollars each week with his previous employer. WesTrac is running an interdepartmental challenge finishing on June 20. The winning department receives a 50-litre Esky valued at nearly $300 and capable of keeping its contents fresh or cold for a couple of days. All WesTrac employees are in a draw for eight $50 vouchers. ‘Workplace giving is an easy way to make a donation. In the past four decades mining and mining- related industries have embraced the concept. It comes as a result of first-hand experience or simply an understanding of the need for the Service,’ Mr Walton said. ‘We focus on getting new companies involved, but we are very mindful of recognising our long term donors as well,’ he said. On track to help WESTRAC employees at Tomago unfortunately missed the chance in late March to witness a Rescue Helicopter first hand. But the reason far outweighed the lost opportunity. WesTrac’s Ross Hatton. MANY PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY LIKE ELLE EDELMAN FROM FORGACS CHOOSE TO DONATE JUST A FEW DOLLARS A WEEK FROM THEIR PAY PACKETS. FORGACS UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SERVICE AND SUPPORTS THROUGH WORKPLACE GIVING SO THE RESCUE HELICOPTER CAN BE THERE WHEN IT IS NEEDED. Just a few dollars can help save a life 6 Rescue Magazine WINTER 2015
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