NRMA Insurance helicopter dashes across the sky to help

NRMA supports NSW SES and RFS transport supplies and Christmas mail to help those cut off by floodwaters

The NRMA Insurance helicopter recently took to the sky as Santa’s helper for communities cut off by floods outside Forbes in the New South Wales Central West. With heavy rains flooding the Lachlan River and impacting local businesses and communities, residents living on 20 farms in rural Corinella needed outside help to receive their mail deliveries.

The NRMA Insurance helicopter team worked with our partners the New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to deliver Christmas presents, mail and supplies for families stranded in Corinella.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also joined the crew to visit the region and speak to farmers and volunteers about the damage caused by the recent flood and the clean-up at hand.

Image credit: Chris Ace Williams

The operation involved NRMA Insurance helicopter pilot Glenn Izzard, crewman Jaydyn Haigh, David Marks, Roc Walshaw and Sasha Baer from the NSW SES and Graeme Taylor from the RFS. NSW SES volunteer Sharon Buckley was the Air Base Manager helping to coordinate tasks and ensure the pilots and crews were looked after during operations.

Sharon says the special drop-offs included Christmas cards and gifts as well as regular mail, magazines and online shopping orders. “The only way to get them in there is via helicopter,” says Sharon. “We’d drop off the parcels and all of the isolated residents would come to that spot and collect it.

Sharon said operations such as this one in Forbes help build a true sense of community. “It's really great doing something operational where you can see the tangible benefit,” she said. “And when you're working with volunteers from other agencies, including NRMA Insurance, it just really builds a sense of esprit de corps.

The aircrew also conducted vital reconnaissance work, taking a council worker up to assess the state of roads in the surrounding districts, and determine when they might be ready for reopening.

When you get to people who are isolated – if they've been without something for days or weeks – it's always nice when you're greeted with a smile on the face and a big thank you.

Geoff Sprod

NRMA Insurance Chief Pilot

NRMA Insurance Chief Pilot Geoff Sprod, no stranger to missions such as this, said it’s always rewarding helping others in these situations. “When you get to people who are isolated – if they've been without something for days or weeks – it's always nice when you're greeted with a smile on the face and a big thank you.”

Communities including Forbes, Wee Waa, Walgett and Mungindi are bracing themselves as flood waters continue to impact regions throughout NSW and Queensland.

In preparation for an even wetter summer, IAG is encouraging customers to follow the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather advice and warnings, including preparing for storm season and refraining from driving through flood water.

We have a dedicated team managing claims following the recent heavy rain and our priority is to provide our customers with any immediate support they need.

We encourage any impacted customers to contact us as quickly as possible to lodge their claims and access emergency accommodation or other urgent assistance. Customer records are kept electronically, so a customer only needs their name and address to find a policy.

NRMA Insurance is the founding partner of the recently launched Australian Resilience Corps. We’re working with the Minderoo Foundation to create a national volunteer network to help prepare Australians ahead of disasters and extreme weather. The Corps connects volunteers with existing community-led volunteer organisations to support work that helps communities prepare for fires and floods

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