- The RAC Rescue Helicopter service celebrates 15 years helping the Western Australian community
- Six thousand missions flown over the period
- The service is WA's only 24/7 emergency rescue helicopters that can accelerate delivery of patients directly to trauma centres
The RAC Rescue Helicopter service is celebrating 15 years of helping Western Australians in their greatest time of need, completing more than 6,000 missions since its inaugural flight in August 2003.
The two RAC Rescue helicopters, based in Perth and Bunbury, provide critical care 24 hours a day, every day of the year and cover 95 per cent of the State's population.
The helicopters have flown more than 1.2 million kilometres providing emergency services for ill or injured people who have been involved in road crashes, accidents, and search and rescue operations across metropolitan and regional WA.
The speed of the service has made the difference between life and death for some patients.
It has meant higher patient survival rates, reduced hospitalisation periods, shorter rehabilitation times, and better patient and community outcomes.
Laretta Roney is thankful for the role the RAC Rescue helicopter played in saving her life in 2014 after she was involved in a car crash in Elgin.
"When the vehicle stopped spinning my ex-partner looked over to see if I was alright and I wasn't sitting in my seat and he could see me unconscious," Laretta said.
"Another vehicle arrived and he rang 000 and said look we're going to need the helicopter, we're going to need ambulances. He said it's not good.
"They're the angels in the sky they truly are and I'm very, very thankful. Very thankful."
The RAC Rescue helicopters are funded by the State Government with an annual investment of $16.8 million.
The Bunbury helicopter is funded by the Royalties for Regions program, and both helicopters are managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and have been sponsored by the RAC since the service began.
Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
"Over the past 15 years, the RAC Rescue Helicopter service has served our State faithfully, flying more than 1.2 million kilometres which is the equivalent of nearly 32 flights around the world.
"The two RAC Rescue helicopters are the State's only 24-hour emergency helicopter service, bringing the best possible emergency medical treatment to where it is needed most.
"There are many Western Australians who owe their lives and wellbeing to the fantastic efforts of the RAC Rescue service and I am pleased that the McGowan Labor Government has secured funding for years to come for both of the helicopter services.
"I congratulate RAC for helping keep this vital service in our skies."
Minister's office - 6552 6300