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Milestone year for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue
Franco Bertoli and Shayne White at the LifeFlight Aeromedical Base.

Bundaberg’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper had a milestone financial year, performing a record 306 missions and opening a new purpose-built base.

“Those airlifts are valued at more than $3.8 million but, of course, none of that comes at any cost to the patients,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Director of Aeromedical Services Dave Donaldson said.

“The Bundaberg base is getting busier, year on year and this new base means we can significantly enhance the quality of care, safety and comfort for patients.”

One of the most memorable and satisfying missions for the Bundaberg team, was the successful search for an elderly man, reported missing near Gin Gin, earlier this year.

The Bundaberg-based crews have performed dozens of vital coastal searches in the past 12 months.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue is a critical service for Queenslanders, whether they’re in built up areas or in our remote and regional areas,” Mr Donaldson said.

LifeFlight Australia has, once again, proven its status as one of the country’s most trusted aeromedical rescue services, following a record 2019-20 financial year.

In the past 12 months, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s combined resources of community helicopters, air ambulance jets and critical care doctors have performed 6333 lifesaving missions.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters, based around Queensland, completed 2022 of those missions.

“Our rescue helicopters are basically critical care ambulances that fly directly to the patient and we’re available 24/7, from all of our bases, throughout Queensland,” Mr Donaldson said.

 The top five missions for the Bundaberg chopper, according to illness and injury:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents (44)
  2. Cardiac (42)
  3. Search and rescue (36)
  4. Falls (31)
  5. Serious illness/infection (23)

The statistics show the Bundaberg crews were most commonly called to motor vehicle accidents, including airlifting a woman after a 4WD rollover at Kinkuna Beach in May.

Across Queensland, motor vehicle accidents were one of the most common reasons for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters call-outs.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said the mobility club is a proud naming rights sponsor of the air ambulance jets, helicopters and critical care doctors.

As road safety advocates, the RACQ team knows the difference the aeromedical service continues to make.

“For 115 years, RACQ has been Queensland’s advocate for improving road safety for motorists, so our sponsorship of LifeFlight is just another way we can help people who become the victims of road crashes,” Ms Ross said.

“Sadly, we still see far too many people injured on our roads, but we’re grateful to the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue teams for their work to get Queenslanders the urgent medical care they need, when they need it.”


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