Extra funds needed to maintain full service.
Extra funds needed to maintain full service.

Westpac helicopter needs help

THE Westpac Life Saver Helicopter Service needs community generosity like never before, spiralling aviation costs mean it will need an extra $1 million in community support this year.

This week the service launched what it calls the most important fundraising campaign in its history.

Helicopter general manager Kris Beavis described the campaign as critical, urging the community not to take the rescue helicopter for granted.

“Our operating budget in 2010 is $6.5- million – almost double what it was just four years ago,” Mr Beavis said.

Last year the North Coast helicopter flew 30 missions on the Coffs Coast, including calls for emergency and rescue response and hospital transfers.

Despite the local need for the service, just 1.3 per cent of the population actually gives to the service.

While donations to the organisation have dropped by 12 per cent, the cost of keeping helicopters in the sky has soared.

To make a donation, go to any Westpac Bank branch or call the service 6627 4444.



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