Warm welcome for guardians of the sky

The RAC Rescue helicopter was called out to an unusual mission on Tuesday 3 June 2014, with the crew landing at Sacred Heart College in Sorrento to reunite with a brave former patient. It was the first time Year 10 student George Harley met the crew he and his family credit with saving his life, following a serious accident in July 2012.

Since that day, George has endured 10 operations and six months in a wheelchair, however his strong recovery has recently seen him win the Bronze Medal in National Swimming Championships and he is now part of the Northern High Performance Development Program, run by WAIS.

Since 2003 the RAC has proudly supported the emergency rescue helicopter service which has flown more than 3,600 rescue missions and helped save hundreds of lives. The service is funded by the WA State Government with the assistance of RAC sponsorship and managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

The RAC exists to benefit its members and the broader community, and sponsoring the emergency rescue helicopter is one of the ways we can help make a difference.

RAC Rescue is the State’s only emergency rescue helicopter providing a vital service to help people in need, particularly in regional areas where medical assistance is not immediately on hand. The helicopter attends critical care incidents such as car and motorcycle crashes as well as providing essential transfers and search and rescue.

DFES Assistant Commissioner Graham Swift said research indicates that the time saved by using helicopters to retrieve patients with major trauma injuries often reduces patient recovery time, the likelihood of long term serious injury and in many cases even death.

The visit was specially arranged by George’s school at the request of the family, who say the meet and greet will give George a chance to personally thank the crew and bring closure to the incident which occurred 22 months ago.