A Decade of Dedication

8th, March, 2024

On January 17 our Tamworth Base ‘celebrated’ a special milestone for team member Tamara. Ten years earlier, in 2014, as Tamara was returning home after visiting a friend, Tamara’s brakes failed and resulted in a head on collision on the Gwydir Highway east of Glen Innes that trapped her in her vehicle with serious injuries to her arm and abdomen.

After arriving on scene, local paramedics and the VRA attended to the serious damage to Tamara’s right arm. With compound fractures and blood flow seriously restricted, Tamara was facing the possibility of losing the arm. Fortunately, the incredibly skilled paramedics on scene manipulated Tamara’s arm, allowing blood flow to continue but Tamara was still suffering from serious internal injuries.

The medical team then made the decision to transport her via road ambulance to Armidale Airport to rendezvous with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

After just 21 minutes in the air she landed in Tamworth, a trip that would have taken an hour and a half by road. Tamara spent a combined twelve weeks in hospital that consisted of eight surgeries on her abdomen, one surgery on her arm, ten days in an induced coma and four weeks in ICU.

“I knew that this service had saved my life, and I really wanted to help ensure other people were as lucky as me.”

At the end of 2014, Tamara held her first fundraiser, a barbecue that raised over $1,500 for the Service. But she wasn’t done yet, she became a passionate volunteer and advocate, sharing her story at events and speaking to the media.

In 2018, a position opened up at our Tamworth Base and Tamara jumped at the chance to work with the service that saved her life. Since then, she has been a key member of the Fundraising and Marketing Team, always going above and beyond to allow the Service to help others as they had helped her.

Ten years on, Tamara acknowledged this life-changing experience alongside Aircrew Officer Trent, who was on Tamara’s mission that day, with a morning tea and bouquet of flowers.

Thank you, Tamara, for your hard work and dedication to the Service throughout the past ten years, we are grateful to have been there for you that day.