Helipad Project Manager Recognised For Volunteer Service

Picture: Hon Dan Tehan, Peter Carr & Mr Doug Craig (Presenter)
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
The opening of Portland’s emergency helipad on December 8 will mean more to Peter Carr than most people.

For starters it represents the culmination of more than 300 hours of work over the past seven years in his voluntary role as project manager.

It also represents a potential life-saving initiative for his family – which numbers over 60 in the Portland district – and the broader community.

And on top of that it connects to his passion for helicopters.

Mr Carr's voluntary contribution has saved the Blue Ribbon Foundation Portland District Health Emergency Helipad more than $50,000 and has now earned Mr Carr a National Volunteer Award 2015 Member for Parliaments Award

The award was presented by Member for Wannon Dan Tehan on Friday November 20.

Mr Carr took on the role of project manager for the Blue Ribbon Foundation Portland District Health Emergency Helipad in 2009 and is pleased to see his efforts – and that of the broader community finally come to fruition.

It's been a long and often difficult path, including relocation from the original Ploughed Field site to beside the PDH urgent care department, but he says it's been worth the effort and it wouldn't have happened without such strong community support.

They said it was going to cost $50,000 to get a consultant from Melbourne to be project manager but they didn't have the money so I said I'd do it, Mr Carr said.

It was probably a lot longer than 300 hours but you don't put a time to it, you just do it.

Mr Carr stressed he wasn’t the only one to help.

It's been easy because it's what I do with my work, he said. The only difficult thing was asking people to donate their time or make a donation but from everyone I asked I got not one knockback.

It's been a good community effort.

Mr Carr's father Gavin was once bitten three times by a tiger snake about five years ago and had to be resuscitated three times during an ambulance trip to Warrnambool. Availability of an emergency helicopter would have made such a difference to him and his health,he said.

Mr Carr, who owns a helicopter that is currently based in Broome, hopes the emergency service is never needed but he's pleased to know it's there just in case.

Our families are based here. We have about 60 direct family members and have lived here all our lives. We are part of this community and the helipad affects us, as well as so many in the wider community.

Portland District Health CEO Chris Giles said Mr Carr’s contribution would add value for the community for decades to come.

Ms Giles said it was estimated seven years ago that the project manager role would cost at least $50,000.

By volunteering in this role, Peter has created significant savings for this project, she said.

Peter is the managing director of local family company G. R. Carr and has taken on this role in addition to his business because he sees its enormous value to the community, she said.

The business has a strong history of community involvement and Peter's contribution confirms that. He estimates he spent at least 300 hours in the project manager's role which shows just how committed he was to the project.

Mr Carr's role included sourcing contractors, contributing to planning; developing timelines, providing financial estimates and ensuring occupational health and safety was followed.

He also drew on his skills and personal and business contacts to source various donations.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation Portland District Health Emergency Helipad will be officially opened on December 8. The ceremony starts at 11.30am for a noon opening.

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