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Volunteer gives back to CareFlight after life changing accident

This time last year, Kerry Lumsdon hadn’t heard much about the service he now devotes many volunteer hours for.

If it wasn’t for a fateful day-trip to Granite Bay in Noosa National Park, he may have carried on this way.

“My life changed considerably after I was rescued by CareFlight,” Kerry said.

A day before his 71st birthday, Kerry slipped on some rocks and found himself in a remote location, unable to walk with a broken pelvis.

An ambulance arrived, but due to the nature of Kerry’s injuries, the decision was made to call the RACQ CareFlight Rescue Helicopter, known at the time as the AGL Action Rescue helicopter.

“When I saw CareFlight arrive overhead, I felt no fear or panic. I knew I was in safe hands,” Kerry said.

The helicopter hovered just above the rocks where Kerry was injured to allow a medical team to climb down from the chopper’s skid.

A flight doctor and intensive care flight paramedic treated him and strapped him onto a stretcher which was winched up to the hovering helicopter.

He was then airlifted to Nambour General Hospital where he spent six weeks in recovery.

Still on crutches, Kerry and his wife Sandra dropped into the Maroochydore hangar to thank the rescue team.

“The rescue team left a lasting impression and I wanted to find out whether we could help in some way, whether it was by donation or some other contribution, Kerry said.

It was there the husband and wife duo signed up to become volunteers for RACQ CareFlight Rescue.

From that day forward the couple made an ongoing commitment to give back to the service that helped them.

They are now among more than 6 million Australians or 1.2 million Queenslanders who volunteer, a community which is celebrated this week for the 25th anniversary year of National Volunteer Week.

CareFlight’s Relationship Manager for the Sunshine Coast region, Angela Miles says people like Kerry and Sandra are vital to keep the service afloat.

“We are forever grateful for the hours of time our dedicated volunteers give. They play a huge role in providing a lifesaving, but very costly service to the community.”

“We do, on average, three rescues a day and each one of these costs about $12,500.

“By volunteering at our fundraising events, Kerry and Sandra help inject vital funds back into the service, which keeps us in the air,” she said.

Kerry says the time he devotes is not only good for CareFlight, it’s rewarding for him as well.

“It’s a nice feeling to help out. CareFlight helps everybody and I feel like I’m a part of that now,” he said.