Saturday 11 August officially marks 15 years since the first lifesaving RAC Rescue Helicopter took flight, providing the only vital 24/7 emergency search and rescue service in Western Australia.
Since August 2003, the RAC Rescue helicopters have flown over 6,000 missions and have been critical in saving hundreds of lives.
RAC Executive General Manager Advocacy and Members, Patrick Walker, said RAC was proud to have sponsored the lifesaving initiative since its inception.
“RAC exists to benefit our members and the broader community and sponsoring the rescue helicopters is one way we’re able to give back to WA and help make a difference,” Mr Walker said.
“The safety of WA families sits at the very heart of what we stand for as an organisation and we are incredibly proud to support such a vital part of Western Australia’s emergency response network.”
RAC Rescue operates helicopters from Perth and Bunbury, boasting an operating range of 200km from each base and covering 95 percent of Western Australia.
Of the more than 500 missions flown every year, an average of 75 per cent are to regional areas and 65 per cent are in response to road crashes, demonstrating the extent and devastation of road trauma throughout rural communities.
“Within minutes of receiving a call out, an RAC Rescue helicopter can be in the air and on its way to deliver critical aid, often reaching areas ambulances cannot and dramatically reducing response times.”
“On behalf of everyone at RAC, I extend my deepest gratitude to the men and women — engineers, pilots, air crew, critical care paramedics and many others — who over the last 15 years have shown an extraordinary commitment to the safety of Western Australians.
“Their daily heroism is a true inspiration and we can’t thank them enough.”
To commemorate the 15 year anniversary, RAC will present honourary pins to past and present engineers, pilots, air crew and critical care paramedics, in recognition of their lifesaving accomplishments.