Thank you to everyone who supported our 2015 Major Raffle.Prizes were drawn yesterday at the Lismore 4WD Caravan Camping & Marine Show.
Congratulations go to:
1st prize winner - C Scott ticket number 25874 - Avan Weekender camper van
2nd prize winner - T Burg ticket number 16284 - $2,000 worth of groceries
3rd prize winner - M Turnbull ticket number 53400 - $1,000 worth of fuel
To claim your prize please contact us 02 6627 4444.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service Chairman, Warren Tozer and recently appointed acting General Manager, Roger Fry, were delighted to hear the announcement by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner confirming that the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter (Northern Region), in conjunction with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter (Hunter & New England) is the preferred tenderer for aeromedical retrieval services in northern NSW.
"The three regional Services operate and fundraise under a proven model of community support and have partnered with the NSW Government to deliver rescue and aeromedical retrieval services for many years" Mr Tozer said.
"The Services have been working towards this new long term contract for more than three years" commented Mr Fry.
Mr Fry said "It's important to recognise the contributions made by the many sectors within our community who have enabled the rescue helicopter service to grow and develop into the nationally recognised aeromedical retrieval service it is today".
In what was understood to have been a highly competitive bid against strong commercial competition, Mr Fry commented "This announcement gives peace of mind for not only our staff and volunteers, but for the wider community who rely on the rescue helicopter to be there when it counts".
The Minister's announcement that new Augusta Westland 139 helicopter will be employed cross the state by each operator will mean a new helibase will have to be built for the Lismore Service to house the much larger aircraft.
These new state of the art aircraft are not scheduled to be operational till early-mid 2017 and will allow for the Services pilots, crew and engineers to undertake extensive training to help make the new aircraft operational.
Under this new aero-medical contract the support of the community, sponsors and volunteers will be just as important in the future as it is today. In addition, all donation support made in the region will still stay in our region and directly support the local operation that serves its community.
Today saw the drawing of our major raffle at Lismore Central to see who would win the Stacer Proline boat and fuel/grocery vouchers, the lucky winners were:
1st prize winner - ticket no.06051 M Clark (Boat)2nd prize winner - ticket no. 13164 M Dusej (Grocery voucher)3rd prize winner - ticket no. 20200 W Arnup (Fuel voucher)
Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket.Our thanks to Disco Marine in Grafton for being a sponsor of the raffle and for helping to supply the Stacer Proline boat.
Our next major raffle starts straight after Christmas, to purchase your tickets online visit www.helirescue.com.au/donate/buy-raffle-tickets.html
Thanks to the support of NBN Television, major sponsor of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, a feature story was produced recently and aired last night in their news bulletin.
Follow the link to see this great insight and behind the scenes look at the regions rescue helicopter service:
Most people think of horrific motor vehicle accidents on the highway or lifesaving search and rescues when they hear the name 'Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter'.
Recently though, we met a young man whose story highlighted the lesser known yet significant role that your rescue helicopter service performs by transferring patients between hospitals.The following underlines how something so unexpected demonstrates the need for your continued support which is so necessary this Christmas. You never know when or where you might find yourself in need of the Region's red and yellow rescue helicopter.
Paul Schilling is a 27 year old school teacher in Grafton and in early January this year he woke up to a nice day in which he decided to go surfing before returning home to watch some cricketon the television. As he sat on the couch, about fifteen minutes later he started to feel a strange sensation in his left foot. It felt similar to pins and needles and started working its way up his leg. Paul beganto lose control of the function of his left leg when the sensations began in his right leg. His wife Holly was hanging some washing outside so he called for her help as he couldn't effectivelywalk outside. Holly immediately knew something was wrong and said they should go to the Maclean Hospital.
Getting to the car was difficult – Paul tripped over and hit his head on a chair on that small move to the car. On the way to the hospital, the strange sensations and loss of control continued working throughhis body up into his arms and eventually Paul's mouth. Paul recalled "I began to think I may have been having a stroke so I told my wife that I loved her in case they were the last words I would everspeak".
When they arrived at the hospital Paul was showing symptoms of someone who had overdosed on drugs and couldn't speak. The Doctor suspected that he may have a virus or bacteria in hisspinal fluid which was inflaming his brain and causing the symptoms he was experiencing. "The last thing I remember at this point was trying to do a coordination test and being frustratedthat my body would not do what my brain was telling it to do," remarked Paul.
The doctors called for an ambulance to take Paul to the Lismore Base Hospital but his condition was rapidly worsening, leading them to cancel that request and immediately call for the rescuehelicopter.
"The helicopter arrived and before I knew it I was intubated as my brain was within an hour of shutting down and I would have died," explained Paul.
Paul was quickly flown to Lismore and once in the intensive care unit the medical team took a lumbar puncture to determine his condition and found that a virus had made its way into hisspinal fluid and inflamed his brain. The condition is generally known as viral encephalitis or meningitis. Paul's recovery was slow as he was placed in a medically induced coma to allow his body to heal. Paul was givensome anti-viral medicine which helped him to come out of his induced coma and continued to improve to the point where he left the hospital ten days later.
There were many factors that contributed to Paul's life being spared that day with the rescue helicopter service being just one of them.Over half of the missions we perform each year are tohelp transport patients in need just like Paul from our small regional hospitals to larger base and metropolitan hospitals. Your support helps to ensure that each year the Service can be there to meet that need.
By donating to our annual Christmas Appeal you may just be ensuring that someone you love, who next experiences something as unexpected as Paul did, can have the chance of survival too.
If you thought bike riding was a leisure activity, think again! The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter's annual 'Hell on Wheels' mountain bike cycle tour starts this Saturday and will see 40 riders travel nearly 600kms in just 8 days. Oh, did we forget to mention that the majority of the ride is not on smooth bitumen roads but on beaten old dusty unsealed back tracks and fire trails, plus the odd creek crossing or two!
Thanks to major sponsor Hurford Hardwood, this years tour starts in Tenterfield and will see the group of riders and support vehicles heading through to Drake, through Baryugil and into Copmanhurst, across to Jackadgery on the beautiful Mann River, into Nymboida and back up through Grafton and Lawrence before passing through Maclean and Evans Head and across the finish line at Lismore.
The event is a major fundraiser for the rescue helicopter service and hopes to fundraise over $40,000. The riders will be having regular nightly stops at local hotels throughout the region so if you see them in their bright blue rider shirts feel free to offer your support as they look to raise vital funds to help the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter save lives in our region.
Fundraising Manager for the rescue helicopters, Zeke Huish said "It's hard not to marvel at the determination and gutsy effort that the riders display in by taking part in this gruelling event".
"For some of these riders this is an annual journey they make which sees many taking holidays from their place of work as part of their commitment to help raise support for the Service'.
"We wish the riders a safe trip as they enjoy the comradery of their fellow riders".
To make a donation in support of the riders, feel free to contact the Service on 6627 4444 or donate online.
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