The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is an integral part of Tasmania’s emergency services, and is available to anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous situation.
Our highly skilled crew are called out daily for a variety of assignments - from bushwalker rescue missions in Tasmania’s rugged World Heritage Areas to motor vehicle accidents or extracting an injured fisherman from a trawler.
Tasmania Police also makes use of our helicopter service as a crime-fighting tool to maintain Tasmania’s reputation as the safest state in the nation.
We adhere to the highest possible standards for our crew - including Ambulance Tasmania paramedics, police divers and other specialist police units - so all personnel undergo an intense training regime prior to joining the team.
Additional training is scheduled every time we upgrade our search and rescue and aeromedical equipment.
It was first known as the Tasmanian Air Rescue Helicopter service when established alongside its registered charity - The Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust.
In 2005 Westpac Banking Corporation secured naming rights sponsorship with the Trust and the rescue service hence became known as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The Trust acts as a vehicle of sponsorship and fundraising, which comes from several sources.
The State Government provides funding for Westpac Rescue Helicopter missions via the budget of the Department of Health.
This also covers routine helicopter maintenance carried out by RotorLift Aviation, based at Hobart Airport.
But this funding is conditional - it’s provided on the basis that Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service seeks complementary funding to maintain its operations, secure first-class rescue and medical equipment and train personnel.
We have a wonderful sponsor in Westpac, and other commercial supporters too, but this is why donations and benefactions from the general public are so vital to the continued operations of our service.