NSW aeromedical services will get a significant boost with the official opening of the brand new $5 million NSW Ambulance and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base at Lismore Airport.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, joined by Member for Lismore Thomas George, NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones, today officially opened the base, which is part of the $151.2 million state wide Helicopter Retrieval Network Service rollout.
Commissioner Morgan said it was an important milestone for the Northern Zone area and will see a NSW Ambulance paramedic and a NSW Health doctor onboard every chopper mission for the first time.
“Our aeromedical paramedics and doctors provide an exemplary service to patients in all corners of the state, completing about 3000 patient missions each year,” Commissioner Morgan said.
“I am confident that this partnership and new base will better enable the highly-qualified NSW Ambulance helicopter paramedics, along with doctors on board, to continue to deliver exceptional out-of-hospital critical care to patients across the Lismore region and state.”
Mr George said the service would greatly enhance aeromedical rescue services for the local community and surrounding areas.
“This new, state-of-the-art base will mean improved responsiveness for patients living in Northern areas, and will help ensure they get the critical care they need much quicker.”
Mr Hazzard said the Helicopter Retrieval Network Service is the single biggest NSW Government investment in aeromedical services in the state’s history.
“This service goes well beyond rescue and retrieval, taking emergency care to patients and treating them by expert clinicians mid-air with world-class medical equipment before they even reach hospital,” Mr Hazzard said.
“The NSW Government’s record 2017/18 Budget investment of almost $1 billion for ambulance services is also delivering more paramedics, new and upgraded ambulance stations and enhanced communications networks for rural and regional communities.”
The Lismore Airport location was supported through independent assessment by AviPro as the best site to maximise responsiveness.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter Chief Executive Richard Jones said the base opening also represented the continuation of a long-term partnership, delivering world-class aeromedical and rescue services to NSW.
“The new base is an asset for our community and we are delighted to deliver a facility that will maximise workflow for our team, providing a safe and functional hangar for our aircraft and engineers,” he said.
“Alongside our fleet of Augusta Westland 139 (AW 139) helicopters, our highly skilled pilots and air crew will work closely with NSW Ambulance and NSW Health teams to deliver enhanced standard of aeromedical and rescue services to NSW residents.”
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