News -

Local helicopters on firm ground with RACQ

The future of the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg based rescue helicopters has landed on firm ground with RACQ committing $1.5 million dollars annually to become the new naming rights sponsor of the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service (SCHRS), now known as RACQ CareFlight Rescue.

The five-year agreement will be indexed annually and RACQ has already indicated its intention to be a long-term sponsor.

"This agreement brings a new level of stability to our rescue helicopter service and we're really excited to have RACQ on board," David Donaldson said.

"Obviously there are re-branding issues to work through, including repainting our helicopters, but there's no doubt the blue and yellow which is synonymous with RACQ will feature strongly."

RACQ Group Chief Executive Officer, Ian Gillespie, said that becoming the naming rights sponsor of SCHRS had been a long-term goal of the motoring club.

"Today's announcement means RACQ now sponsors all five community rescue helicopter services across Queensland," Mr Gillespie said.

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has been the naming rights sponsor of the Service for the past four years and during this time the AGL Action Rescue Helicopters have been involved in more than four thousand vital rescues throughout south-east and central Queensland.

AGL has graciously agreed to step aside before the end of its contract date to secure a funding increase for the life-saving service.

SCHRS saved its first life back in November 1979, making it the longest running community helicopter provider in the state.

Mr Gillespie said that for RACQ the inclusion of the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg based helicopters meant the iconic motoring body now donated almost $5 million annually to helicopter sponsorships around the State.

"Like RACQ?s roadside assistance, the RACQ-sponsored rescue helicopters work to provide peace of mind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," he said.

"The work of the rescue helicopters and their dedicated crews can literally mean the difference between life and death - especially for motorists injured in car crashes.

"That's why we're involved with the rescue helicopters. It's also why our members overwhelmingly support that investment of their funds."