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CareFlight clocks up record 1,410 missions

RACQ CareFlight’s iconic rescue helicopter service completed a record 1,410 missions in the 2014-15 financial year, providing lifesaving care to 1,227 people across Queensland.

CareFlight’s Executive Manager Operations, Brian Guthrie, said the milestone figure is an 8% increase on last financial years’ figure of 1,302 missions flown.

That’s an average of four missions, every single day,” he said.

“It’s safe to say it’s the busiest we’ve ever been.”

In its three decades of serving the community, CareFlight has flown more than 42,000 critical rescue missions, making it one of the busiest air-medical rescue services in the state.

“Each year, demand on our lifesaving services seems to increase quite significantly,” Mr Guthrie said.

“And as demand increases so too does the cost and we rely even more on the 41 council regions we serve for a third of our funding.”

This financial year, more than 40% of patients CareFlight helped were aged over 50 and one in 10 missions was to rescue someone involved in a motor vehicle accident.

“The types of missions we perform are so varied and change day to day. It’s interesting to reflect on the year and really see how busy our teams were across all four community bases.”

Some of the most high-profile missions from 2014-15 include a marathon rescue effort to free a former federal MP trapped in an underground grain silo for almost eight hours, the airlift of a reptile park owner who was attacked by a four-metre crocodile during a live feeding show, and the successful search and rescue for a missing two-year-old toddler, found safe and well at Pine Mountain.

Donate to CareFlight today at www.careflight.org.au to help fund rescue missions of the future.