More than 2000 patients have been rescued by aeromedical choppers in Sydney and southern NSW in the past year, under the $151.2 million Helicopter Retrieval Network. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard today officially opened the new $25 million Bankstown NSW Ambulance and Toll Rescue Helicopter Base, marking a significant milestone in providing aeromedical services to patients throughout the State.
Joined by NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dominic Morgan, Toll Global Logistics President Chris Pearce and local aeromedical doctors and paramedics, Ms Berejiklian and Mr Hazzard toured the Bankstown base, which forms an integral part of the network. Ms Berejiklian said the Network is the single biggest NSW Government investment in aeromedical services in the state’s history.
“This base helps us to deliver expert emergency medical care to people throughout Sydney and much of the southern half of the State, from helicopter bases in Bankstown, Orange, Wollongong, and the ACT,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The first NSW Ambulance and Toll Rescue Helicopter took to the skies from this base last year, and since then around 2000 aeromedical missions have been conducted.
“This is part of the NSW Government’s record $151.2 million investment in our Helicopter Retrieval Network, enabling clinicians to deliver out-of-hospital critical care to patients, no matter how remote their location,” she said. The Bankstown NSW Ambulance and Toll Rescue Helicopter Base features clinical, servicing and training facilities, including three helicopter and servicing hangars and a state-of-the-art training centre with simulators, a water training pool, environment training facilities, medical simulation rooms and an auditorium.
Mr Hazzard said the new base ensures the fastest and highest-standard of aeromedical care possible. “Thanks to these bigger, safer and faster choppers, patients in every corner of the state will get first-class intensive care more quickly,” Mr Hazzard said. “This service is more than just rescue and retrieval. It takes critical care to the patient 24/7 – with a doctor and paramedic on every flight.”
NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dominic Morgan said expansive training facilities available at the base added to aeromedical personnel’s high standard of training. “Already we are considered by emergency care providers around the world as the benchmark aeromedical care provider by which they measure their operations and standard of care,” Mr Morgan said. “This facility ensures every aeromedical staff member we employ will be trained to the highest possible standards.”