LifeFlight deploys aircraft to Central Queensland flood emergency

With flooding expected to close the Rockhampton Airport around midday tomorrow, movement of critically ill patients in and out of the city is expected to become more difficult hence LifeFlight’s rapid response to a request from Retrieval Services Queensland.

LifeFlight Chief Operations Officer Brian Guthrie said the leading air medical provider had moved swiftly to assist with the request from RSQ and Queensland Health.

“It’s very important for Queensland Health to be able to create an ‘air bridge’ for priority patients in and out of Rockhampton over the next seven days and LifeFlight is well positioned with the services and infrastructure to respond to this emergency with a full aviation and medical crew, including an emergency-trained doctor and paramedic,” Mr Guthrie said.

“We will be sending a RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bell 412 twin-engine helicopter which has a two stretcher capability. This is our back-up aircraft and given the assets that we have, this will in no way reduce or compromise our ability to respond to other missions in South East Queensland.

“The helicopter will provide the ability to transfer (on the ground) patients airlifted from Rockhampton who can then be flown by our LifeFlight air ambulance jet, sponsored by RACQ, or other air ambulances such as Royal Flying Doctor Service, to a higher level of care to hospitals in the South East.

“LifeFlight has been there to respond to community needs in many floods in the past including Brisbane (2011) and Bundaberg (2013) and we believe we excel in these situations to help to save lives and provide ill patients with care in their hour of need.”

LifeFlight helicopters and jets have been busy around the state in the past week responding to a range of requests for help including winching people from floodwaters, conducting a Search and Rescue mission as well as several serious motor vehicle accidents.

Over this weekend, crews from RACQ LifeFlight have been extremely busy performing 18 missions since late Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.

This morning the Toowoomba based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter airlifted a male in his mid twenties who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident near Cunningham’s Gap at 9:45am.

The patient was treated on the scene by both local QAS paramedics as well as the helicopter’s medical team.

The critical care doctor was required to intubate the patient before he was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The Bundaberg based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter airlifted a woman in her early seventies on Saturday from a private property near the town of Lowmead who required hospital treatment after having a suspected cardiac condition.

The woman was stranded by flood waters and QAS crews were unable to reach her. The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter airlifted her in a stable condition to the Bundaberg Base Hospital.