Westpac announces extended partnership with Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service
24 March 2014
- Westpac announces extended support for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service through to 2017
- Westpac launches new education program starring Channel Seven’s ‘Air Rescue’ crew members designed to engage students on essential role of the community service
- Ky Hurst announced as ambassador to the schools program
Westpac has launched the inaugural Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service Schools Program, an educational resource designed to teach 50,000 Australian primary school students the importance of not-for-profit emergency services to their local community.
More than 100 schools across the nation will participate in the learning program which includes three educational videos and in-classroom resources.
“We know how much children love the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters, so the Schools Program will really engage students while teaching them the importance of community organisations,” said Jason Yetton, Group Executive, Westpac Retail & Business Banking.
“While most people are aware of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, not very many people fully understand what they do. They’re commonly known for patrolling our beaches, however their tireless work for the Australian community stretches far beyond the coast. They perform lifesaving missions on our roads, in the bush and during natural disasters such as fires and floods.”
Westpac, in partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, has supported the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service for more than 40 years, contributing to its rapid expansion from a single aircraft performing beach surveillance and rescue, to a national operation made up of 16 helicopters flying from 13 bases. The Service also includes two rescue boats, based in the Northern Territory and Victoria. Westpac has recently extended this partnership through to 20171.
“We’re incredibly proud to again extend our support of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, and this program is a continuation of that support,” said Mr Yetton.
Surf Life Saving Australia CEO, Greg Nance, said “Our partnership with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service is one of the longest and most significant community business partnerships in Australia.
“Surf Life Saving’s helicopters and rescue boats are a vital extension of our front-line services and Westpac's valuable support assists us in protecting the community. The Schools Program extends our reach to educate young people about the scope of our work through grassroots activities,” said Mr Nance.
The School Program’s educational videos star crew members from Channel Seven’s hit show, Air Rescue, and take students ‘behind the scenes’ of the base. From the names of the helicopters and safety equipment on board each aircraft, to preparing for a real mission and delivering a patient to hospital, students get a true sense of what happens on an average day at the base.
Each school that participates in the program will be given the chance to meet the crew of their local base in May, with program ambassador, Ky Hurst, making an appearance at select visits.
“Growing up on Gold Coast’s beaches, I’ve often been comforted by the sight of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter flying overhead,” said dual Olympian and Ironman legend, Ky Hurst.
“I’m excited to help spread the word about this vital community organisation to Aussie kids and look forward to meeting students over the next couple of months.”
The national program will reach 50,000 Australian students across 118 schools over the next four weeks.
About the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service
- As the oldest civilian search and rescue service in Australia, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service has performed more than 70,000 missions over the past four decades.
- It began in 1973 with just one helicopter in Sydney, and Wales Bank, now known as Westpac, has supported this vital service since its inception.
- Today the Service covers over 84% of the Australian population during the summer months with a national operation made up of 16 helicopters flying from 13 bases. The Service also includes two rescue boats, based in the Northern Territory and Victoria.
- Westpac has proudly supported the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service for more than 40 years, and recently reaffirmed its partnership for the next four years to 2017.
- Every Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter base across the nation is a free community service, no individual has ever been charged to be rescued.
- Australians touched by the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service can share their story, say thank you and if they wish, donate via www.westpacrescue.com.au.
1 Please note - the partnership extension includes all bases operated by Surf Life Saving Australia (nine helicopter bases and two boats). Westpac supports remaining services, in Tasmania, Newcastle, Tamworth and Lismore, through separate partnership agreements