(L-R): Glencore's Community Relations Manager Craig Strudwick; Elise Pfeiffer, Glencore Media and Community Relations Coordinator and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones.
(L-R): Glencore's Community Relations Manager Craig Strudwick; Elise Pfeiffer, Glencore Media and Community Relations Coordinator and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones.

Six-figure funding partnership helps rescue chopper

THE renewal of a major funding agreement means Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter pilots will receive state-of-the-art training to deliver the best in aeromedical support.

Resource company Glencore, a partner of the rescue chopper for more than a decade, has continued a six-figure investment which extends the partnership to the end of 2020.

The funding will focus on supporting the training of pilots to maintain a “world class” standard of aeromedical service to the community.

“With our service operational 24-7, in all weather conditions, the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of the skills and training of our pilots and aircrews is vital,” the service’s chief executive, Richard Jones, said.

“We place the highest priority on the importance of training for our crews and pilots to ensure success and sustainability of our world class service and we are fortunate to have a company such as Glencore share that objective with us and partner us in delivering this life saving service for the communities that we share.”

The continued partnership sees Glencore provide funding to help the service’s pilots complete 250 hours of simulator (SIM) training in Category ‘D’ simulators based in Sydney to help maintain competency under Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations.

This training aims to increase skill levels of operational personnel for all scenarios and to reduce risk of mishap to patients, aircraft and crew.

>>> Help rescue helicopter save lives during difficult times

Glencore’s community relations manager, Craig Strudwick, said they had recently helped fund a new GeoSim – Flight Simulator at the rescue service’s Belmont base.

It will be installed and launched later this year.

“Like our employees in the mining industry, the pilots rely on advanced operational skills and a high level of training in order to do their jobs safely,” Mr Strudwick said.

“By supporting the service, we can help to ensure all pilots have access to cutting edge training so they can continue to provide the best possible service to our communities.

“Having a service like the Westpac Rescue Helicopter is really valued in our communities and it’s something that Glencore is incredibly proud to continue to support.”