RACQ LifeFlight Rescue soars through record 2019/2020 financial year

LifeFlight Australia has, once again, proven its status as one of the country’s most trusted aeromedical rescue services, following a record 2019/2020 financial year.

In the past 12 months, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s combined resources of community helicopters, air ambulance jets and Critical Care Doctors, have performed 6,333 lifesaving missions.

Between July 2019 and June 2020, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters, based around Queensland, completed 2,022 missions.

Those airlifts are valued at more than $12,500 each, but come at no cost to the patient.

“Our rescue helicopters are, basically, critical care ambulances, that fly directly to the patient and we’re available 24/7, from all of our bases, throughout Queensland,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Director of Aeromedical Services, Dave Donaldson, said.

The Brisbane chopper performed 499 missions; the top five, according to illness and injury:

1. Cardiac (125)

2. Serious illness/infection (68)

3. Neurological (62)

4. Respiratory (53)

5. Neonatal (37)

The Sunshine Coast chopper performed 496 missions, the top five, according to illness and injury:

1. Cardiac (132)

2. Motor vehicle accidents (94)

3. Neurological (42)

4. Serious illness/infection (31)

5. Falls (28)

The Bundaberg chopper performed 306 missions, the top five, according to illness and injury:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents (44)
  2. Cardiac (42)
  3. Search and rescue (36)
  4. Falls (31)
  5. Serious illness/infection (23)

The Toowoomba chopper performed 669 missions, the top five, according to illness and injury:

1. Motor vehicle accidents (69)

1. Serious illness/infection (69)  (equal most common mission)

3. Cardiac (53)

4. Respiratory (47)

5. Neurological (44)

In the 2019/2020 financial year, LifeFlight’s Toowoomba and Roma-based Surat Gas Aeromedical Service helicopters airlifted 71 patients. 

The missions included flying sick and injured people from Arrow Energy, Origin, QGC and Santos sites, as well as community members, as part of the consortium’s commitment to assisting local communities.

The Mount Isa chopper performed 52 missions, the top five, according to illness and injury:

1. Motor vehicle accidents (17)

2. Medical – Abdominal (6)

3. Falls (5)

4. Cardiac (4)

5. Serious illness/infection (4)

In the past 12 months, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Brisbane and Townsville-based Air Ambulance jets have contributed to 490 lifesaving missions.

One of the most high-profile, was the tasking of the two Townsville and one Brisbane jet, as part of the aeromedical fleet, which airlifted injured workers after an explosion at a Moranbah mine.

“Once we receive the call from Queensland Health and we activate the crew, they can be airborne in as little as 90 minutes,” Executive Manager of LifeFlight Coordination Centre, Peter Elliott, said.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said the mobility club is proud to sponsor the air ambulance jets, community helicopters, and Critical Care Doctors.

“The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue team has saved thousands of lives, and at a time when people are particularly concerned about having access to the best medical care possible, they’re there,” Ms Ross said.

“We’re so grateful to the team for all they do for Queenslanders in their time of need.”