What started as making sandwiches for the RACQ LifeFlight crew has evolved into a long-time role as a vital volunteer for Bundaberg's Tracey Palmer.
When she was confronted by the devastating 2013 floods, she turned her attention to helping the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews who were saving her fellow residents.
Almost 10 years later, Tracey is still passionate about supporting a cause that brings first-class aeromedical care to regional Queenslanders.
“Everyone was helping those affected by the floods understandably, but no one was helping those doing all the rescuing, “she said.
“You never know if that’s going to be you that needs to be rescued.
“When you move to a small town you realise how vitally needed a rescue helicopter service like RACQ LifeFlight Rescue is.”
Tracey is one of a dozen Wide Bay-Burnett LifeFlight volunteers who play a crucial role in fundraising for the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base.
She and others donate their time, anywhere from an hour a month to several hours a week, to help increase public awareness about the service.
A day of volunteering can include anything from selling merchandise at market stalls, helping collect money from donation tins, or organising local fundraising events.
Not only is it an excellent way to promote RACQ LifeFlight Rescue's critical work but for Tracey it is also a great way to meet other likeminded members of her local community.
“It's been a lot of fun over the years,” Tracey said.
“There's a camaraderie.
“We have formed a great group of volunteers here and I've made really good friends who meet up outside of volunteering.”
The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter performed 286 missions in the last financial year, bringing advanced medical care to Wide Bay-Burnett residents in their darkest hours.
It wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community the crews serve.
LifeFlight is always on the lookout for more volunteers to support the aeromedical crews who help Queenslanders.
“Our volunteers are just fantastic – they're all so driven to support our rescue helicopters and our local crews,” Community Engagement and Activities Coordinator Aleisha Woolacott said.
“We are so thankful for our volunteers and truly value the support each and every one of them provides through their unique skillsets.”
For those interested in giving back to the community, while using their talents in a new way, can find out more here.
Other stories: St Luke’s students skipping to success