Westpac today announced it has extended its support of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS), the oldest civilian search and rescue service in Australia, for another five years; taking the partnership to 49 years.
Westpac, in partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, has supported the WLRHS since its inception in Sydney in 1973. Today, the WLRHS, which incorporates the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Northern NSW and Tasmanian Services, has performed more than 80,000 missions across Australia, with no one ever having to pay to be rescued.
Westpac Group CEO Brian Hartzer said Westpac is proud to continue its support of this vital Service and its crew who are tirelessly dedicated to keeping local communities safe.
Over four decades, since its foundation in the early 70s, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service has helped Australians, without question or fear – I’m proud to say that Westpac has been there since day one.
“The Westpac Choppers are uniquely Australian, and for the benefit of all Australians. We’re incredibly proud to continue this important partnership, and thank every crew member for their unwavering commitment to helping us when we need it most,” Brian said.
Over 300 rescue professionals and volunteers make up the WLRHS national operation, which has 17 helicopters and two rescue boats across 13 bases. During summer, the Service covers over 84 per cent of the Australian population.
In addition to coastal search and rescue operations, the Service nationally also provides lifesaving missions such as response to inland emergencies including motor vehicle and farming accidents, and transferring critically ill patients between hospitals.
Adam Weir, CEO of Surf Life Saving Australia, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our long standing relationship with Westpac.”
“Surf Life Saving’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Services around Australia and Lifesaver Rescue Boat Services in Northern Territory and Victoria would not be possible without the support of Westpac.”
“The service has had such a positive impact on the thousands of lives that have been helped on Australia’s beaches, coastal regions and other areas during times of emergency.”
As Westpac enters its third century in business, the partnership renewal reaffirms Westpac’s commitment to the WLRHS, alongside other key initiatives that Westpac support such as Westpac Little Ripper and Westpac Rescue Rashie in helping to keeping Aussies safe.