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The Rescue Service
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is there for everyone living in or visiting Tasmania. Any person may one day require its service through misfortune or accident. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter will attend a wide and varied range of missions, from motor vehicle accidents, to search and rescue missions in our vast wilderness including the rugged World Heritage Area.
The Service is also there for members of Tasmania Police as a crime fighting tool and to assist in their role maintaining Tasmania as the safest State in the nation.
On any one day, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter can be tasked to search for a missing bushwalker, extract an injured fisherman from a trawler or attend a multiple road trauma, sometimes all in a single day.
On 1 August 2000 Tasmania obtained its first multi-engine IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) emergency rescue helicopter. This service has vastly increased the flying capacity of any previous service available to the State.
Funding for the missions of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter is provided by the State Government through the budget of the Department of Police and Emergency Management with Rotor-Lift Aviation, based at Hobart Airport, contracted to provide the service.
To maintain acceptable training standards for the Police Search and Rescue crew, Ambulance Tasmania paramedic's, Police divers and other specialist police units, an intense training regime is scheduled and conducted with additional upgrading of special search and rescue and aero-medical equipment.
The Department of Police and Emergency Management is responsible for the ongoing management of the service delivery contract between the State Government and Rotor-Lift Aviation, as well as the ongoing management of this vital asset to the State.
Considerable funding is provided on the basis that complementary funding sources are sought to maintain the continual improvement to specialist equipment and advanced training required by Police, Ambulance Tasmania personnel and the aircraft pilots.