Local companies chip in to keep rescue chopper flying high

16 October 2013

Hunter communities can rest assured that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service will continue to provide the much needed service to the region’s rapidly growing population thanks to donations from Hunter-based companies such as leading homebuilder McDonald Jones Homes.

The state’s number one ranked builder in terms of homes constructed, McDonald Jones recently donated $10,000 to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service with company founder Bill McDonald handing over the cheque at the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service 21st Anniversary Wonderland Ball held at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday evening.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones said that times are extremely busy for the Hunter’s helicopter and that it is a daily challenge keeping a helicopter service such as the Westpac Rescue in the air.

“If every company in the Hunter gave us ten thousand dollars, as McDonald Jones have generously done, we’d be doing very nicely,” said Mr Jones.

“With the economy the way it is, it’s an outstanding contribution from McDonald Jones and I thank Bill and his team for the goodwill and the thought.”

McDonald Jones Marketing Manager Nathan Thurston said that with townships such as Maitland emerging as one of the region’s most successful inland corridors in terms of growth, demand for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service in both the Lower and Upper Hunter regions is set to rise as more and more people make towns such as Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook their home.

“I don’t see this sort of growth diminishing in the short term,” said Mr Thurston. “We’re expecting to build in excess of 450 new homes in the Hunter in the next 12 months so that’s a lot of families who want to know that a vital service such as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service will be there for them in the event that they need it.

“As a local company built on strong family values, McDonald Jones is always looking for ways to help make the communities in which we operate stronger and safer."

“We feel it’s important to lead by example and set the benchmark for others to aim for. McDonald Jones wouldn’t be the success it is today without the support of Hunter communities so it’s important that we give back to those communities by supporting crucial emergency services like the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.”