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Northern NSW : Celebrating 40 years Rescue December2015
Support still bubbles along While thinking about all those people who have supported the Service and how best to thank them in this message, it occurred to me that more than half the people of the region today were not born when the ‘Bubble’ helicopter lifted off from Merewether Beach 40 years ago. For those who were around then there are memories of weekend surf patrols and part time volunteer crews from our region’s Surf Life Saving Clubs. For those newer to the scene, it is about a 24-hour-a-day every-day service with fulltime professional pilots, crew, paramedics, and medical officers providing what I think we can proudly claim as one of the best aeromedical retrieval services in the world. Change has been ever present, with upgrading of aircraft, technology, operational systems and administration but there has been one constant from day one and that is support from the community. From the time the Service was first mooted, the community recognised its value and committed to on-going support. It just never seems any trouble to the generous people who make donations and who organise fundraisers, and in particular our volunteers. I know very well that some stretch their budgets to ensure they continue to contribute and I am very conscious that organising fundraisers is never simple. Each deserves our praise and our appreciation. I cannot let this opportunity pass without acknowledging the work of our volunteer Board members over the past 40 years. We ask much of them and they respond without hesitation. I am extremely proud to lead the team that makes sure the helicopters are ready to respond when one of our community is in need. They are special people who think their jobs are much more than just turning up to work. Like me, each of our Board members and our employees value our community. We are proud to be a part of this community and we look forward with keen anticipation to the implementation of the new contract under which your Service will provide for all of Northern NSW. Finally, the summer holiday period is our busiest. Enjoy, but please take care. We would be happy if it wasn’t so busy. Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe Festive Season. Richard Jones General Manager Westpac has been the Naming Rights Partner of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service since it was established in 1975. This is one of Australia’s longest and most valued community partnerships. 4 Rescue Magazine CELEBRATING 40 YEARS SPECIAL EDITION
Rescue Aut 2016