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Ian Baker-Finch Charity Golf Day raises money for rescue crew lockers

The crew at the Sunshine Coast based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue hangar have benefited from the efforts of the members of the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific and the generosity of local businesses who participated in the 2016 Ian Baker-Finch Charity Golf Day at Caloundra Golf Club.

Legendary Queensland and Australian golfer and golf commentator Ian Baker-Finch attended the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Sunshine Coast base to personally present a cheque for $9,000 to be spent on providing 13 purpose-built lockers for the local crew.

Mr Baker-Finch said on behalf of the Caloundra Pacific Rotary Club, he was pleased to be presenting half of the funds raised at the Charity Golf Day to the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service.

“As a Queenslander who grew up on the Sunshine Coast I know how much people in this region and regional Queenslanders rely on the help of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service,” said Mr Baker-Finch.

The Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific wanted to raise money for the rescue service and it was decided that the LifeFlight crew would really benefit from having lockers built at the hangar.

“As a community it’s important to support charities such as LifeFlight who really are there when we need them saving lives - anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

The Caloundra Golf Club, where the event was held, is dear to Ian’s heart as it was the golf club where he served his apprenticeship before he launched into a stellar professional career which saw him secure 18 professional tour wins, including a golfing major, the 1984 British Open.

RACQ LifeFlight’s Community Engagement Coordinator Jodi Durkin said the crew was grateful for the support of Mr Baker-Finch and Sunshine Coast locals who paid $1000 per team to attend the Ian Baker-Finch Charity Golf Day on October 7.

“Being able to provide lockers for pilots, aircrewmen and doctors will make their lives easier on a daily basis as they get ready to save lives and serve the community,” said Mrs Durkin.

“We would also like to thank the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific for helping to keep the Sunshine Coast based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flying in the region saving lives.”

In 2015-16, LifeFlight flew a record 1,864 missions from all of its Queensland community helicopter rescue bases, a 32% increase on 2014-15. The Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter was one of the busiest in the state with 511 missions flown.

Of those airlifts, 253 were urgent hospital transfers including neonatal tasks, which required getting patients to emergency specialist medical care quickly.

On 218 occasions Sunshine Coast crews landed the helicopter at the scene of an incident or an accident, 71 of those were road and off-road truck, car and motorbike accidents.

Nearly 130 of those incidents occurred in the Sunshine Coast helicopter’s backyard including hospital transfers, rescues and winches performed in the mountains.