TASMANIA’S Rescue Helicopter Service now has access to additional night vision capability follow today’s handover of three sets of latest technology night vision goggles valued at almost $60,000.
The US- manufactured white phosphor night vision goggles (NVG) were fully funded by Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania, the fundraising arm of the aero-medical and rescue service. The full cost is $58,480.
The military-grade aviation goggles are the most advanced on the market, providing the highest image clarity and best low-light response available.
NVG for night flying is mandatory and while the rescue helicopter pilots and police crews have access during night missions, Ambulance Tasmania paramedics have had to check for obstacles on one side of the aircraft using a hand-held torch.
Search and rescue missions in Tasmania are renowned for operating in the most demanding environment and flying at night in remote areas and searching near low level wires and other obstructions that are difficult to detect, pose unique challenges. It is vital that the helicopter rescue service has access to the best equipment available.
The additional NVGs will enable Ambulance Tasmania crew members to check for obstacles, significantly enhancing the capability of the service and the safety of the rescue personnel and those being rescued or transported for emergency medical treatment.
The provision of the night vision goggle follows Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania’s funding of four additional specialist immersion suits earlier this year, to protect crews on missions over water.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania Chair Tony Harrison said night vision goggles were essential and provided the highest level of enhanced safety on night rescue missions, particularly in remote and extreme conditions.
“We are able to fund this vital equipment because of our sponsorship and community fundraising which enables us to purchase the best available resources and support the required advanced training for our world-class rescue service,” Mr Harrison said.
The State Government funds Westpac Rescue Helicopter missions through the Department of Police and Emergency Management and Ambulance Tasmania. Westpac is the naming rights and major sponsor of the helicopter rescue service and Westpac Rescue Helicopter
Tasmania raises funds with support from other sponsors, donations and benefactors to assist in enhancing the service, securing equipment and training.
Media contact: Laura Minutillo, phone 0409 649 693