Peru trek for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

Bar Beach resident Michelle Faithfull with air crewman Brian Foster and Peter Martine.

Bar Beach resident Michelle Faithfull with air crewman Brian Foster and Peter Martine.

A PASSION for charity and tourism is behind a new fund-raising initiative for the community's Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Bar Beach resident Michelle Faithfull will embark on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru in October next year as part of a community fund-raising effort.

Ms Faithfull developed the partnership between the service and Jayes Travel to deliver a 14-day odyssey through Peru with three days volunteering in the Andean village of Pomacanchi.

After completing the Great Wall of China trek in 2011 and Kokoda last year, Ms Faithfull said there was no way she would miss the trek.

"I most certainly will be going. It's difficult to stop at one, I think I'm now officially addicted," she said.

Machu Picchu is rated as one of the top five treks in the world, and the expedition is expected to reach maximum numbers early on.

"It's definitely a popular destination so we're encouraging people to get their registration fee paid as soon as possible."

Losing her first-born daughter showed Ms Faithfull the importance of access to medical facilities and the true value of the service.

Monthly missions

In the past month, the rescue helicopter attended 38 missions in and around Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

Of these 15 were to the scene of motor vehicle, farming and water accidents.

Twenty-one were secondary response where the pilots, crew and paramedics transferred the patient to specialist medical treatment, and the remaining two were search and rescue missions.

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