Michael Wilson died during a helicopter rescue in 2011.
Michael Wilson died during a helicopter rescue in 2011.

Theft of memorial for paramedic hero ‘a low act’

The wife and colleagues of a NSW paramedic killed during a helicopter rescue operation on Christmas Eve 2011 are "absolutely gutted" after a plaque honouring him was stolen.

Kellie Wilson said she has been "in a bit of shock" after hearing the tribute to her late husband Mick Wilson, placed at the remote ­location where he lost his life, had been taken.

"It's just so bitterly disappointing that a memorial, ­intended to honour the life and the sacrifice of someone who was humble, courageous and dedicated, was taken in such a manner," she said.

"It defies belief, frankly."

Michael Wilson died during a helicopter rescue in 2011.
Michael Wilson died during a helicopter rescue in 2011.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dr Dominic Morgan called the theft the lowest of acts.

"Mick Wilson was a legend who paid the ultimate price while serving our community," Dr Morgan said.

"This is an appalling act of complete disrespect to his memory, his family and his colleagues who continue to mourn his loss every day."

An experienced paramedic, Mr Wilson was killed during a helicopter winch rescue of an injured canyoner at Bridal Veil Falls on the NSW south coast.

The plaque put in place to honour Mick Wilson was stolen.
The plaque put in place to honour Mick Wilson was stolen.

A year after his death, a bronze plaque was erected at the location but in 2016 it was stolen before a new memorial was recessed into a rock.

NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopters southern manager Andrew Ryan said the theft was "gut-wrenching" for him and the tight-knit team of helicopter paramedics and doctors.

"I'm absolutely gutted and not just myself," he said.

"Given that this is in such a remote place and so difficult to get to, you'd have to cart equipment in there specifically with the intent of removing it from the rock.

"This is obviously well-organised and well-planned to steal that plaque and I just can't, for the life of me, fathom why anyone would want to do it in the first place."

Originally published as Theft of memorial for paramedic hero 'a low act'

The empty spot where the plaque used to be.
The empty spot where the plaque used to be.

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