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Iconic Queensland rescue helicopter an Ekka star

Ekka crowds are looking to the skies at this year’s EkkaNITES nightly RNA show as the iconic RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter descends into the main arena.

Visitors at the showgrounds have been delighted by the familiar sound of the community rescue helicopter and the rare opportunity to enjoy a front-row view of the service which performed 1864 rescue missions last year.

LifeFlight Community Engagement Manager Vicki James said the lifesaving service was thrilled to celebrate the unique diversity of our state with visitors from Queensland and interstate.

“LifeFlight has been dedicated to serving Queensland communities for 35 years. We’ve been able to provide a vital lifeline to seriously ill and critically injured people in all types of remote and rural locations across the state,” said Ms James.

Having witnessed the service first-hand, Elaine Corbett said that LifeFlight provided peace of mind for residents living in rural areas. Her husband Robert, a retired farmer was urgently airlifted by the RACQ CareFlight Rescue (now RACQ LifeFlight Rescue) helicopter after he suffered a major heart attack near Kingaroy late last year.

“I was just so relieved, in a way, when the crew came and I knew that everything was being done to save his life,” Mrs Corbett said.

“We are just so grateful for LifeFlight and the care he (Robert) received that day, without it he would not still be with us.”

Ms James said LifeFlight had a stall at the Ekka for the first time this year.

“It’s such a thrill to be meeting face-to-face with Queenslanders from both the country and the city,” she said.

“We’re also giving visitors an exciting opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse into the skill of our rescue helicopter pilots.”

For $5 the public can test their flying skills at the LifeFlight stall on a helicopter flight simulator ride. 

Riders of the simulator will have the chance to win four seats on an RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter training flight.

“We also have some great cash prizes to be won, thanks to the 50-50 Foundation,” said Ms James.

LifeFlight was chosen as the 50-50 Foundation’s charity beneficiary for a raffle being conducted throughout the Ekka precinct on selected days of this year’s show. 

“Lucky winners of the 50-50 raffle will win 50 percent of the day’s prize pool, and the remaining 50 per cent of the pool will be donated to LifeFlight,” Ms James said.

Ekka visitors can find the LifeFlight stall located next to the RACQ stand on King Street.  

More information: www.lifeflight.org.au/ekka