Flooding impacted the Westpac Rescue Helicopter like many other businesses, but the service is keen to return to its "spiritual home" in Lismore as soon as possible.
Given that muddy-desk high water inundated the chopper's base near Lismore airport it was fortunate, in a way, that personnel could fly away to a temporary facility in Ballina, and keep operating during the crucial hours, days and weeks following the February 28 flood.
On the morning of the flood, crews on shift departed their base and could see their own vehicles, the building itself and the surrounding community succumbing to the rising waters.
It was less than 500m from the chopper's base that the first rescue took place, beginning one of the busiest weeks in the service's history.
They performed nearly 50 missions in the immediate aftermath of the flood.
Lismore base manager and pilot Nathan Scard was on duty as the disaster unfolded.
"It is hard to put it into words just how overwhelming the sight of seeing that much water coming up from all directions was for everyone on shift at the time," he said.
"It hit home very quickly just how much trouble the town and region was going to be in once the team was airborne.
"Our thoughts quickly turned to the situation at hand and the challenge of relocating our operations to Ballina to enable us to continue to respond to the numerous tasking requests that were coming in.
"Being on the front line, side by side with our community, and the many emergency service personnel who have worked so hard since the disaster started, it has never been so humbling to know that the donation support we receive allows us to respond in such desperate times".
The rescue chopper will be based in Ballina until its headquarters in Lismore is rebuilt over the next three to five months.
Given that there has always been a bit of a tug of war between the two cities about where the rescue chopper should be based, it's a significant step to return to Lismore given it succumbs to flooding.
"We have got to come back home," Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service CEO Richard Jones Richard Jones said. "This is the spiritual home, Lismore is the hub and the Base Hospital of course.
"Whatever happens in the future will happen above my pay grade but as an organisation we want to come back to our Lismore base and get back and have people come and visit us and our volunteer network.
"We have lost our Op Shop in town as well so we will just have to wait when and if that comes back.
"But our network and our spiritual home is here in Lismore and we should be back home in about four months' time."
Because of the disruptions to normal services and the considerable damage to Lismore and its business and general community, fundraising for the chopper has taken a back seat.
That's why its end of financial year appeal is critical.
Donations to the Appeal will remain local at one of the service's three Bases in Belmont, Tamworth and Lismore, which service close to 2 million residents in the Northern half of NSW in communities north of the Hawkesbury through to the Queensland border and throughout the New England North West.
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