CYCA SOLAS gives third grant to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

Matt Allen, CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman presents the cheque to Chad Griffith and Richard Jones (right)
CYCA SOLAS
CYCA SOLAS Trusts has provided a third grant to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (Hunter Region) for $4,775 for five aircrew vests and four survival vests to continue the vital community work that the service does.

Richard Jones, General Manager, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (Hunter) said 'These vests are an integral part of our safety equipment for our crew and for those who we are rescuing.

'We are very pleased that CYCA SOLAS Trusts could assist us with funding on this occasion through the purchase of life vests. The vests are of the highest quality and latest technology allowing our operational staff to be at the top of our game' said Richard Jones.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is a community owned and operated aeromedical search and rescue service, serving the Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, New England and North West regions. It is one of six helicopter services contracted by NSW Health to perform emergency services in the New South Wales community.

The Helicopter Service provides a free service to over one million people, covering a region of 132,000 square kilometres. Each year the Helicopter Service performs over 1200 missions, rescuing people from accident scenes and transporting critically ill patients from small, rural hospitals to large tertiary hospitals, primarily the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and the Base Hospital in Tamworth.

CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen announced the third grant, which follows funding that amounts to $34,402 provided in 2010 and 2009 for the purchase of an EAM Aviation T4S Sam series Life Raft for the Service’s existing BK117 Helicopter and ten floatation collars; and a Roaring Forties SMA 8000 Series Aviation Life Raft for use in Westpac Rescue’s Bell 412 Helicopter and nine water rescue harnesses for each crew member.

'The CYCA SOLAS Trusts is delighted to provide the funding for this request. We trust this grant will allow Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service to continue to provide the vital service required to cover the area that falls under your responsibility,' Mr Allen said.

'The CYCA SOLAS Trusts continues to actively contribute to key volunteer marine, search and rescue organizations,' Allen said.

The CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The CYCA SOLAS Trusts objectives are to:

• Provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races
• Make donations and provide support to search and rescue organisations
• Foster and fund research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.

Since they were established in 1998 following the loss of life in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race that year, the Trusts have donated more than $770,000 to organisations in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT, and the Trusts continues to explore new organisations to support.