No one has ever paid to be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. That is because their fellow citizens and the NSW Government through NSW Health and the Ambulance Service of NSW provide the funds that ensure the rescue helicopters are there when and where they are needed.
The WRHS was established in 1975 as a volunteer part time beach patrol in the Newcastle area. Since December 1975 service has been owned and operated by the community, in partnership with the local Surf Lifesaving Branch. The Service has also enjoyed a successful partnership with the Westpac Banking Corporation. Their sponsorship is recognised as one of the longest serving corporate partnerships in Australia's history.
Today, the WRHS includes four helicopters operating across the Hunter, New England – North West, Central Coast and Mid North Coast regions.
Operating from purpose built bases in Tamworth and Broadmeadow in Newcastle, the service undertakes more than 1000 missions each year, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
On board is a crew of highly trained and skilled paramedics and medical staff, pilots, air and rescue crew members.