This marks the first time in CareFlight’s history that our iconic yellow, blue, and white rescue helicopters have been based in the Queensland capital.
The new Brisbane Base will not only complement our existing community rescue bases – located in Mount Isa, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, and on the Gold Coast – but will ultimately enhance our rescue capacity across the State.
Operating a base in Brisbane has been a goal of ours for some time, born in response to an identified need by CareFlight for an enhanced service in the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor and a deliverable of our 10-year Service Agreement with the Queensland Government, signed late last year.
Importantly, the introduction of the new base will provide CareFlight with a central aeromedical hub that will be utilised primarily for the Inter-Facility Transfer (IFT) of seriously ill and critically injured patients. These people will be transported from locations throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales to tertiary care facilities in Brisbane.
Initial Brisbane CareFlight helicopter operations will be centred almost exclusively on neonatal and inter-hospital transfer service – providing safe transfer of seriously ill premature babies, newborns and other critically injured patients.
Flight nurses will be present on-board all flights tasked out of the Brisbane base as a result of an initiative developed in conjunction with the Queensland Heath department, Retrieval Services Queensland.
The addition of flight nurses on board each flight will contribute to a greater level of patient care.
One of two brand-new AgustaWestland 139 helicopters will be specially configured for Inter-Facility Transfers (IFTs), and is scheduled to be stationed at the Brisbane base from September 2015. A Bell 412 aircraft will operate out of the base in the interim.