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Northern NSW : Spring 2013
It’s been in planning for a number of years and now construction of the brand new Tamworth Hospital is underway. The new five-storey building is the centrepiece of the $220 million Tamworth Health Service Redevelopment. The construction was officially commenced by NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner, and Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Tanya Plibersek, turning the first sod at the construction site. The new facility, designed around the hospital’s growing range of services, is due to be completed in early 2015. Two of the Service’s most experienced paramedics bid farewell to the helicopters, long nights on call and life-saving missions after 35 years on the job. NSW Ambulance paramedics, John Gleeson and Phil Arnold spent much of their careers in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service attending emergencies across the Hunter and further interstate. When the 1989 Newcastle earthquake struck the pair assisted at ground zero, and were there again when Newcastle succumbed to floods in 2007. Between them, they’ve come close to flying 2000 missions, rescuing bushwalkers, attending serious motor vehicle accidents, plucking fishermen and divers from the ocean and delivering more than a dozen babies. Phil Arnold said the memories with the Ser vice would stay with him forever. “ You still remember some jobs, you will always remember them.” Paramedics retire with fond memories New Tamworth hospital under construction Photo by Chris Hohnke Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Rescue Spring 2013 Page 15