Spirits high during Westpac chopper visit

ROKEBY Primary School students received a warm welcome from crew members of the Tasmanian Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (TWRHS) recently when they paid a special visit to the Cambridge helicopter base as a reward for successfully completing the national TWRHS Schools Program.

Rokeby Primary School, Corpus Christi School and Howrah Primary School were selected from more than 3,000 primary schools across the nation to visit the crew at the base.

Westpac Tasmania acting regional general manager Pippa Robertson said the organisation was “incredibly proud” to help educate Tasmanian school children, their teachers and parents about the value of one of Australia’s most recognisable community services.

“As Australia’s first bank and oldest company, Westpac is proud to support all Australians through the service and bringing these children out to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service base in Tasmania is another way we can showcase the amazing work the rescue crew do each day,” she said.

Rokeby Primary School principal Tim Nicholas said the school had signed up for the TWRHS School Program in late 2016 and were lucky enough to be selected for the reward.

“The visit coincided with a unit our grade five/six class were doing on citizenship and the role volunteers play in our society,” he said.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to see the helicopter in real life and listen to the pilots and crew explain about their amazing jobs.

“The helicopter was amazing and our students could not believe how many gadgets it had and jobs it could perform.”

As part of the base visit, the students participated in a role-playing exercise and were given the opportunity to dress up and take on special jobs in a mock rescue.

“Each of our students also asked the crew questions about their jobs and our students learnt so much from the crew’s answers,” Mr Nicholas said.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Schools Program is part of Westpac’s 44-year partnership with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

More than 3000 primary schools have taken part in the program since October 2016, reaching more than 800,000 students.

For more information, visit westpacrescue.com.au/schools.

Caption: Rokeby Primary School students with, from left, Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot Captain Mark Allen, air crewman Constable Drew Oakden and Westpac regional general manager in Tasmania Justin Caccavo. Photo credit: Thomas Moore Creative