IN the dead of night, sometimes, you can hear the clatter of a helicopter hovering over Cooma as it makes its way to the landing pad at the Hospital.
With the noise comes the realisation that all is not well, that someone is in trouble, perhaps with life threatening injuries sustained in a car accident, or a skiing incident. Maybe the helicopter is dropping the patient off in Cooma, or perhaps it is taking someone onto medical treatment in Canberra or Sydney, meaning that it’s probably more serious.
This terrific service is provided by the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter which deals with medical emergencies over an amazingly wide area, from Hay in the west, down to the Victorian border. It takes in Wagga Wagga, Orange, Young, Goulburn, the South Coast, as well as Cooma and the Snowy Mountains.
It has a team of dedicated pilots, air crew, doctors and paramedics who respond to emergency calls at a moment’s notice. One mission can cost thousands of dollars, and it carries out hundreds of missions in a year. So it’s expensive, and even though the NSW and ACT governments, and Snowy Hydro, contribute a lot, more money still has to be raised through community donations.
This week, the Nimmitabel Garden Club donated $2,000, which will go towards one lifesaving mission. The club’s contribution is significant and was raised through its open garden program held earlier in the year. Every dollar helps to save lives and ease the burden on the traumatised – whose anxiety can be eased by the sound of the incoming helicopter. Not only is it money well spent, the service is priceless.