Brisbane volunteer has that ‘feel good’ feeling!

As part of National Volunteer Week (May 8 – 14) LifeFlight is celebrating the hard work its ‘team on the ground’ does, to help keep its crews and helicopters in the sky.

Every time LifeFlight volunteer Tony Winter sees a blue and yellow helicopter fly overhead he gets an overwhelming sense of pride knowing that in his own way, he’s helping the crew save lives.

“I feel some ownership when one flies over where I happen to be,” he said.

Tony started as a hangar tour leader at LifeFlight’s Brisbane base this year, after hearing about the service’s lifesaving work at the Brisbane Airport Rotary meetings. LifeFlight – formerly CareFlight – is a world leader in aeromedical care and Australia's most diversified service with both a fixed and rotary wing fleet.

“As a Rotarian over the past few years I’ve manned barbeques at LifeFlight events and aviation  events where LifeFlight has been involved,” he said.

“I became enthused by the work that they do for the community and wanted to help.”

Last year the Brisbane-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter flew 603 lifesaving missions, which cost the charity $7.5 million. It takes help from our dedicated volunteers in the office, at fund raising events, and in the community, to help keep LifeFlight’s lifesaving crews and helicopters in the sky. Since 1981, LifeFlight has been a vital lifesaving part of Queensland. Now in its 36th full year of operation, LifeFlight has flown over 46,000 critical rescue missions.

In his short time of volunteering for LifeFlight Tony really has done it all.

“I’ve served in the bar at the annual Gala Dinner, given information to visitors on the Archerfield Open Day,” he said.

“But I regularly work in the office on the computer with LifeFlight data. The spreadsheets required to underscore the work of LifeFlight are quite numerous, ranging from stock management of merchandise to keeping track of collection tins.”

His data entry work is an invaluable help to the organisation. The former high school principal taught himself how to use Excel, and worked in the Department of Education doing performance measurement reviews. Although Tony enjoys data entry work, he says he keeps coming back to LifeFlight every week because helping gives him that ‘feel good’ feeling.

“It provides me with an opportunity to make a real contribution to the benefit of the community through LifeFlight,” he said.

“It’s a great way to get that ‘feel good’ feeling, knowing you’re making a contribution in ways more than just money.”

Each year more than 100 people around Queensland donate their time to LifeFlight at its five community helicopter bases to help provide rapid response medical care to the community.

 “Volunteers are an important part of our LifeFlight family. We simply could not do our work without them. Each volunteer has their own story to share and bring skills unique to their life experiences,” said LifeFlight Community Engagement Manager Vicki James.

Vicki says LifeFlight still needs more volunteers to support its fantastic community events, selling merchandise and conducting at hangar tours.

Signing up to volunteer is easy - find out how here