About Us

The community’s own Rescue Helicopter

No one has ever paid to be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. That is because people in our community and NSW Government, through Health and the Ambulance Service, provide the funds that ensure the helicopters are there when and where they are needed.


  • Established in 1975 a volunteer part time beach patrol in the Newcastle area.
  • Today the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service includes four helicopters operating across the Hunter, New England – North West, Central Coast, Central West and Mid North Coast regions.
  • The Service undertakes more than 1000 missions each year.
  • It operates 24 hours a day every day of the year.
  • The Helicopter attends missions that it is tasked to by the emergency services of NSW.
  • On board the Rescue Helicopters is a crew of highly trained and skilled paramedics and medical staff, pilots, air and rescue crew members.
  • The Service operates from purpose-built bases in Tamworth and Broadmeadow in Newcastle.
  • Since 1975 the service has enjoyed a successful partnership with the Westpac Banking Corporation. The Westpac sponsorship is recognised as one of the longest serving corporate partnerships in Australia’s history. Since December 1975, the Service has been owned and operated by the community in partnership with the local Surf Life Saving Branch.