Rising up for crucial rescue service

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After a devastating fall in 2017, Newcastle’s Aimee Fisher took an emergency flight with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Aimee Fisher in front of a Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Aimee had an accident while at gymnastics in Thornton and needed to be transferred to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

The fall left her paralysed from the hips down.

Three years on, the para-athlete is now giving back to the service that gave her so much.

Aimee is an ambassador for Westpac’s Rise For Rescue initiative and encourages everyone to get involved.

It’s a challenge that calls on the community to raise funds and awareness while participating in a minimum of 30 minutes of activity each day at sunrise (or when they rise up).

Through her team, Aimee is hoping to raise enough funds to match what it would have cost to fly her to Sydney.

“They played such a significant role [that night] in helping to get the best possible outcome for me,” she says.

“I want to see them continue to be able to help people, you never hope that anyone needs them, but it means so much to have them there in the instance that you do.”

Unsure of what the exact figure would be, she knows that everything donated counts.

“Every dollar that people give is going to the same place to do incredible things,” she says.  

“That’s the most important bit – trying to raise money to allow them to continue what they do.”

For Aimee, her flight with the service is something she will never forget. She says, despite the situation, it was one of the best experiences she’s had in the air.

“As someone who fears flying, I was certainly disappointed to miss out on a proper ride in an ambulance and was quick to protest against a ride in the chopper,” she says.

“[But] whilst managing my medical situation they took the time to connect with me and make my experience as positive as possible.

“They don’t just see you as medical case, they take the time to recognise you and connect with you as a person.

“It’s comforting, it makes it so much easier in a situation you don’t ever want to be in.”

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Chief Executive Richard Jones OAM believes the month-long challenge, which launches today (Sunday 1 November), can change the lives of everyone involved.

“Our service is changing lives in our community every day and we are asking participants to change their own lives each day in November by taking on the Rise For Rescue challenge,” he said.

“Just as our service is here for everyone, this event is for everyone of any age, every ability, anywhere – run, walk, ride a bike, horse or tractor, swim, surf or paddle, flow through yoga, Pilates or meditation, skate or scoot, we’d like to see all these and more across November.”

Visit the Rise For Rescue website for more information or to register.

To donate to Aimee’s efforts, click here.

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