Since its beginning on October 1, 1998, SouthCare has been recognised as the primary provider of aero-medical and rescue helicopter services to people in the ACT and south-eastern NSW.
The service has completed more than 6800 missions. The Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter, affectionately known as ‘Charlie’, is a familiar sight and sound across our skies, providing life-saving aero-medical and rescue services.
The service has received overwhelming community support over the past 18 years, and it is because of that support the ACT and NSW governments now see SouthCare as an essential service. They have committed to fund core operations without reliance on community fundraising.
Local woman, Jenny O’Brien, understands only too well the need for such a service. After being involved in a horrific car accident, she has dedicated the last 10 years, six as the area co-coordinator, of her life to fundraising for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter service.
“There are so many people in this town who owe their lives to this service, I think we all know someone who has used the service at one time or another.” Mrs O’Brien said. “In this region alone, we have up to 30 call outs for primary accidents per year.’
“But I am proud to say Harden has always been very good about giving to a worthy cause, and they have supported the Snowy Hydro helicopter every step of the way.” Mrs O’Brien said
Mrs O’Brien has spent the last few days picking up her collection tins from around the town and plans to go over to Young later in the week to make her last pickup.
“I am very proud that the government have finally recognised that the Snowy Hydro helicopter is an essential service, and have agreed to fund it fully.” Mrs O’Brien said.
“But there will be a tinge of sadness for me too. I have spent so much of my time working towards this goal of government funding, now it’s here, I don’t know what I will do with my time.”
“I would like to thank all of the businesses in town that have supported the Snowy Hydro over the last 10 years” Mrs O’Brien said.
“Harden Bearings, Harden Pharmacy, Harden Bowling Club, Twin Town Pizzas, Barnes Emporium, Coopers Butchery, IGA and Harden Fuel Supply. And all the others who have helped with raffles. You should be proud of yourselves – we’ve done it!”