LifeFlight’s Special Mission helicopter arrives in North West as flooding continues

The LifeFlight Special Mission helicopter has arrived in Mount Isa, to bolster aeromedical and Search and Rescue resources in the North West Queensland region, as a major flooding emergency continues to unfold.

The highly advanced aircraft, which is specially configured for disaster response, has been sent to the region by the Queensland Government.

The crew will be on standby to rapidly respond to rescues or medical emergencies as tasked by Retrieval Services Queensland, and will support the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue team already based in Mount Isa, who are also on standby.

The LifeFlight Special Mission helicopter is an AW139 aircraft, which has been carefully fitted with a series of specialised features, to boost its Search and Rescue capabilities.

The helicopter is also medically configured, with a stretcher and critical medical equipment on board.

The highly trained crew consists of a Pilot, Aircrew Officer and a Flight Paramedic, who is dual trained as a Rescue Crew Officer.

The LifeFlight Special Mission helicopter was tasked to help with several flooding emergencies in 2022, including in the Southern Downs, as well as in the Northern Rivers and Central West regions of New South Wales.

The Mount Isa-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crew has also attended several flood-related tasks in recent years.

This is the first time the Special Mission aircraft, which is usually based in South East Queensland, has been deployed to the North West.

The crew were welcomed by members of the LifeFlight North West Regional Advisory Committee, including Committee Chair the Hon. Tony McGrady AM.

The aircraft is part of LifeFlight Australia’s commercial operation, which supports the work of the community helicopter fleet, through our profit-for-purpose model.

In 2022, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters, Air Ambulance jets, Critical Care Doctors, Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics came to the aid of 6,978 people