Cheque keeps chopper in the air
A CHEQUE on the ground was worth $50,000 in the air for the AGL Action Rescue helicopter when the Bundaberg Regional Council boosted the chopper service’s coffers yesterday.
The donation will go towards equipment including a new fire extinguisher bottle, a humidicrib slide and other vital tools.
Bundaberg Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the donation worked out to about 50 cents per person in the region, and it was a small price to pay to keep the service available.
“I want to encourage the corporate side of our community to get behind this service, because it could be one of their employees or their families that need it one day,” Cr Pyefinch said.
The money will also go towards a $12,000 Spas Actuator which is part of the flight control system to maintain the stability of the helicopter at high speed, as well as a videoscope, boroscope and erosion tool, which are all ground-support equipment.
AGL Action Rescue Helicopter chief executive officer Robert Walford said the organisation appreciated the council’s ongoing support, as one of only three major sponsors.
“Five years ago, we used to do less than 200 jobs a year from Bundaberg, and now we do 300 per year and it’s rising,” he said. “This means that our costs have doubled.”
He said council was the service’s largest single contributor, other than the State Government and AGL Energy.
“We encourage more local businesses and community groups to follow the council’s lead to ensure this vital community service continues to save lives,” Mr Walford said.
AGL Action Rescue Bundaberg base manager John Kennedy said the service could be airborne in as little as five minutes, with an intensive care paramedic to provide emergency first aid at the scene of medical emergencies and crashes.
“We don’t look at (each mission) in terms of the amount it costs — we look at in terms of lives saved,” Mr Kennedy said.
“But we do need donations like these to keep the service running.”