South West RAC helicopter marks two year anniversary

The RAC South West Emergency helicopter celebrated on two year anniversary after 590 missions.
The RAC South West Emergency helicopter celebrated on two year anniversary after 590 missions.

The RAC South West Emergency helicopter this week marked two years of saving lives, flying 590 missions. 

The first patient transfer took place on February 8, 2016 with the helicopter supporting the South West community ever since. 

Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan he had seen first-hand the professionalism and speed of the RAC South-West helicopter crew in action when they responded to a motorcycle crash while he was visiting the base.

“It was therefore a great pleasure to be back down at the base late last year to be able to announce the McGowan Labor Government had secured long-term funding of $27.9 million for the helicopter,” he said. 

“The helicopter has made a big difference to the residents and visitors of the South-West in its two years of operation and has flown 155,000 kilometres, which is the equivalent of nearly four flights around the world.

“There is no doubt that this helicopter saves lives by giving people in regional WA access to the best possible emergency medical treatment available.

“Demand for the service grows each month and I am pleased that the community can continue to rely on this service for years to come.”

RAC advocacy and members manager Patrick Walker said the organisation had been reinvesting profits back into the community for than 110 years. 

“We are proud to sponsor the RAC Rescue helicopters and support such a vital part of Western Australia’s emergency response network,” he said. 

In the past two years the service has played a pivotal role in responding to hundreds of vehicle crashes, which made up 78 per cent of all primary missions, has assisted with 30 search and rescue operations and more than 70 lifesaving inter-hospital transfers for patients requiring specialist treatment in Perth.

Managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and sponsored by RAC, the helicopter is based in Bunbury and can be airborne in minutes with highly trained paramedics on board ready to assist in a wide range of emergencies.