When nine-year-old Bundaberg boy Jake Bacon suffered a heart attack while playing football, the RFDS and QAS crew flew into action and transported him from a soccer field to the Brisbane hospital.
It was their combined efforts that saved Jake's life last year.
Recently, after regaining his health and getting back to being a happy, sport-loving kid, Jake and his family met up with the crew to thank them for their help.
Looking back on that fateful day, Dad Joshua said he was still overwhelmed by how everything unfolded.
“You know, it's a little bit surreal,” he said.
“I was freaking out as I was already emotional enough because it was the exact same day three years prior, in 2017, that I'd lost my dad to a heart attack.
“We want to say thank you to everyone, from the first responders to Colin the pilot and flight nurse – we just really are appreciative of what good work they do.”
Queensland Ambulance Service paramedic Anthony Fletcher was part of the team that was dispatched to attend to Jake when he collapsed on the football field and said it was a unique case to be involved in.
“When we arrived we were pretty surprised that Jake was unconscious because it is very rare for that kind of situation to happen to someone so young,” he said.
“We packaged him up and took him to the hospital and by the time he arrived he was breathing, had a pulse, had blood pressure.
“He was actually starting to come good which was great.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Nurse Manager Robyn Langton said it was an honour to meet up with Jake and his family and know that he was well again.
“I was a flight nurse on shift and we got tasked to take Jake down to Brisbane,” she said.
“It's really heart-warming to be remembered for what it is that we do every day.
“It's quite humbling, especially to hear that he is back to playing sports and is happy, healthy and probably a little bit cheeky too!”
Jake one of thousands of RFDS Bundaberg missions
Jake is one of 2,025 patients who were flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) Bundaberg crew to emergency or specialist care during the 2020-21 financial year.
The latest annual patient and aviation statistics reveal that 12,319 patients were transferred across the state last year.
Queensland crews provided, on average, 190 occasions of care each day.
Among the most common reasons for transfer by the RFDS Bundaberg were medical conditions related to the heart, sepsis and broken bones.
RFDS pilots flew a total of 24,279 hours over 8.3 million kilometres, landing 22,587 times.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said she was immensely proud of the work delivered by staff each and every day.
“For more than 93 years the RFDS has helped rural and remote Queenslanders overcome the tyranny of distance to access healthcare services,” she said.
“Our efforts over the past year demonstrate our commitment to ensuring continuity of this service well into the future.”