Safety first: Primary school students get a masterclass in safety from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

Children from Fyans Park Primary School and Moorabbin Primary School witnessed a special event when the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS) landed on their ovals this week, to teach the importance of safety, direct from the local rescue crews.

The schools were selected from more than 4,600 primary schools across Australia to learn about the importance of safety, and local emergency services, from the WLRHS crew.


At the landing, the students heard about how they can keep safe – whether they are in the bush, backyard or surf. They also had the opportunity to sit inside the helicopter and see the state-of-the art lifesaving equipment designed to help them deal with emergency situations.

Maria-Ann Camilleri, Westpac State General Manager Retail Banking Victoria said, “From coastal surveillance, to search and rescue, and evacuation services, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service is a vital community service which is there to help when it matters.

“In bringing the Service to these schools we hope to educate our youngest Australians about how they can avoid getting into danger, stay safe in an emergency, as well as teach them vital safety tips and advice from the very people at the forefront our emergency services.”

The landings are rewarded to schools who have been actively engaged in the WLRHS Schools Program which reaches 1.84 million students each year. Aligned with the school curriculum, the program provides students with the chance to learn in an interactive way using lesson plans, educational videos, digital lessons and the Westpac Schools Program App, which also allows parents to engage in the program. The content is designed to complement the school syllabus for different age groups.

Ky Hurst, former Olympic swimmer, ironman and Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Schools Program Ambassador, said it is important we teach our kids about the importance of safety from long standing community services, like the WLRHS.

“As a parent, one of my greatest concerns is keeping my kids safe, and I firmly believe it is never too early to prepare them for how to grow up safely in Australia’s bush, backyard and surf,” Ky said.

“The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service crew know all too well about how to prepare or respond in an emergency, and I feel reassured to know they are helping to educate our youngest kids about safety, and provide them with useful tips which might one day save lives.

“The WLRHS Schools Program is a great way to engage kids on this type of learning throughout the year. The app is a handy tool for them to get engaged, it’s fun for the parents too!” Ky said.

The WLRHS Schools Program is part of Westpac’s 45 year partnership with the WLRHS. Westpac, Australia’s first bank and oldest company is now in its third century of business, and has supported the WLRHS since its inception in Sydney in 1973. The national fleet includes 17 helicopters flying from 13 bases as well as including two rescue boats based in the Northern Territory and Victoria.

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Safety tips for parents from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

1. When heading to the beach, remember to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches. Remember, kids learn by example, if you are doing the right thing – they will too.

2. If you are heading into the bush camping or walking it is important to be prepared and have a plan. Let someone know where you are and when you are going to be back. And don’t forget to take lots of water with you and have a first aid kit for any potential bumps and ouches.

3. Accidents happen in seconds. Whether you are at the beach, home by the pool, on holiday or at a friend’s BBQ, always supervise children in, on and around water. If you are going boating, rock fishing or paddling make sure you wear a lifejacket.


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