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Northern NSW : Summer 2011
Base visits for Rescue Club members Members of the Ser vice’s Rescue Club, for people who have been assisted or transported on the helicopter, visited the Broadmeadow and Tamworth Bases in October. The invitation was welcomed by those members and their families who came along to meet each other, look at the helicopters in a ‘different light’ to when they last saw them and had a chance to talk with pilots and crew. At Tamworth Forty two people came along for lunch and their comments about the helicopter and crews show how important the Service is in their life. For example Peter O’Keefe is testament to the valuable work of the Ser vice. He was at home on his proper ty east of Walcha cutting a drum when it exploded, badly burning him. The Helicopter and crews flew him to Port Macquarie and from there he was transferred to Sydney’s Royal Nor th Shore. “I wouldn’t have made it by ground ambulance is what I’ve been told,” Peter said. “The helicopter was one thing that out of ever ything that saved my life”. He spent three months in an induced coma and a further 12 months in the hospital’s burn unit before a five month stint at the Royal Rehabilitation Centre in Ryde. “I urge ever y one to support the Ser vice – their professionalism and expertise is second to none – I can vouch for that with my life. They’re amazing people” he said. Photo courtesy of Robert Chappell, Northern Daily Leader. At Broadmeadow Twenty two people were able to look at the Service’s newly acquired BELL 412 EP as well as compare stories. Margaret Cleaver, who was involved in a quad bike accident on her property at Kundibahk and her husband Trevor have chosen to support the Service by selling one of their bullocks. Ray O’Connor now organizes a Ball in Maitland. Debra Todd is selling raffle tickets. Our Rescue Club members are actively involved in the Service. Ray O’Connor from East Maitland and Ern Hillard from Argenton with Pilot Kevin Ratcliffe and the Service’s BK 117 For more information about the Rescue Club contact the Tamwor th Base on 6764 9400 or Newcastle 4952 0000. Peter O’Keefe’s life was saved by the helicopter after he was badly burned near Walcha in 2008. Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Rescue Summer 2011 Page 5
Winter 2012 redo