The Forbes Health Service is urging the community to stand clear when the Medical Retrieval helicopters are landing and taking off at the Health Service.
Lachlan Health Service’s Manager Liz Mitchell said, “The Medical Retrieval helicopters are an essential part of health care in rural and remote areas.”
“It can be exciting to watch the helicopters land or take off, but by-standers can put their safety, and the operation of the helicopters themselves, at risk if they’re standing too close.”
“The Helicopters are a fast and efficient means to transfer critically ill or injured patients to larger health facilities. It’s important we get patients into the helicopter and on their way to care as quickly as possible. The helicopters are heavy machinery and pose a safety risk to any people around the helipad during the landing or take-off procedure”.
The helipad is NOT public land. It is protected by the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901, Members of the public must not be within 20 metres of the edge of the helipad during landing or take-off and must not approach the helicopter until the rotor blades are at a standstill, and only with the Helicopter pilot’s consent. People can be charged with trespass if they interfere with the helipad and/or helicopter. All vehicles must be parked at least 25 metres from the edge of the helipad. This restriction is clearly marked on the road.
The exclusion zone is to prevent injury to the helicopter crew and members of the public as the wind created during landing and take-off is very strong. Debris can also be sucked up into the rotor blades and cause damage to the helicopter which is a safety risk to the crew.
“We don’t want to see anyone suffer un- necessary injuries, so please follow the rules and keep yourself and others out of danger,” Liz said.