John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    Emergency rescue helicopter passes 1,000 missions

    15/01/2008 12:00 PM

    Western Australia’s Emergency Rescue Helicopter has reached another milestone, completing 1,000 missions in its fourth year of operation.

    The milestone was passed on New Year’s Eve when the crew, with the assistance of a Royal Flying Doctor Service doctor, were dispatched to transfer a patient who had a brain haemorrhage, from Peel Health Campus to Royal Perth Hospital.

    Police and Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke said the State Government was committed to ensuring the Emergency Rescue Helicopter, known as ‘RAC Rescue 1’, continued to service the needs of the WA community.

    “At a cost of $4.5million per year, of which the State Government proudly contributes almost $4million, it’s a small price to pay for a service which provides round-the-clock emergency medical assistance to the community,” Mr Kobelke said.

    “Since the helicopter’s first flight in August 2003, the crew have travelled more than 212,000km and undertaken almost 2,300 flying hours.

    “With an operating range of 200km from Perth, the State Government is able to provide this service to approximately 90 per cent of the WA population.”

    In addition, the helicopter service can be extended to cover regional areas such as Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Albany.

    The Minister indicated the majority of missions provided medical assistance to people seriously injured in car, motorbike or quad bike accidents.

    “Besides attending primary missions where the helicopter lands at the scene and transports patients directly to hospital, they have undertaken search and rescue missions and emergency transfer of critically ill patients from regional hospitals to Perth,” he said.

    ‘RAC Rescue 1’ is on standby and ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

    Based at Jandakot Airport, the crew can be airborne and en route to an incident within 15 minutes of receiving a call.

    The Emergency Service Helicopter Service is managed by FESA and funded by the State Government with the support of principal sponsor the RAC.

    Minister's Office - 9222 9211