THE Port Stephens branch of the WESTPAC Rescue Helicopter volunteers are busy fundraising.
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It is when times are at their worst that the service kicks into gear.
They rescue surfers, rock fishermen, attend motor vehicle accidents, transport patients with critical medical conditions and more.
Graham Nickisson or Nikko, was a member of the air crew on the WESTPAC Rescue Helicopter for 38 years.
He told New Of The Area, “I have attended all the major events in the region over the years the Newcastle Earthquake, the Kempsey Bus Crash and the Pasha Balker.”
In October 2018 Graham transferred to the marketing section of the WESTPAC Rescue Helicopter service.
“I have a real passion for the volunteers and what people do to keep the service in the air.”
Graham finds the communities efforts very humbling.
“I work for the community and meet fantastic people.”
He has a healthy respect for the unsung heroes behind the service.
“We all wear the same badge, the helicopter is the pointy end, and people don’t understand that these wonderful people keep the helicopter in the air.
“The flight engineers keep the four helicopters in the air, working around the clock to make it safe for the crew to do their jobs,” he said.
Graham is a huge advocate for safety in all things, and is passionate about the introduction of life jackets and safety of rock fishermen after having attended many search and rescues’ off the rocks.
If you would like to volunteer within the WESTPAC Rescue Helicopter Service the volunteers in Port Stephens and the Mid North Coast would welcome you.
By Marian SAMPSON