LifeFlight Australia has just completed another record year of saving lives throughout Queensland and around the world, with RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets, community helicopters and critical care doctors coming to the aid of 6,508 people in 2019.
LifeFlight is a world leader in aeromedical care, with a fleet including three fixed wing aircraft based in Brisbane and Townsville, as well as ten rotary wing assets operating out of seven bases across the Sunshine State.
In 2019, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters completed 2,150 critical missions.
Between January 1st and December 31st last year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper crews provided urgent aeromedical care in a wide range of situations.
The top five missions, according patient to injury and illness were: 1. Cardiac conditions (351), 2. Motor vehicle accidents (256), 3. Serious illness/infection (194), 4. Neurological conditions (137), 5. Respiratory conditions (136)
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Director of Aeromedical Services, David Donaldson, said the lifesaving helicopter service is seeing an increase, year on year.
“Our aeromedical crews can deliver world-class care to Queenslanders in need, anywhere at anytime.
“We are always rescue ready.
“More than two thousand people have been airlifted by the community rescue helicopters. We’re extremely proud of that achievement,” he said.
RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said RACQ LifeFlight Rescue provides a crucial service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for all Queenslanders.
“A lot of those rescue are motor vehicle crashes and, as road safety advocates, we’re really proud to say that we’re supporting RACQ LifeFlight Rescue.
“In the last 12 months, the number of people who they’ve rescued is quite amazing and there are a lot of lives owed to the people and the work RACQ LifeFlight Rescue does,” Ms Ritchie said.
RACQ is urging all drivers to remember the fatal five, before they start driving.
“Each and every time you get behind the wheel, make sure you’re not drinking and driving, you’re not distracted by your mobile phone, you’re wearing your seat-belt, you’re not speeding and, of course, you’re up to the challenge of driving, because you’ve had enough sleep.”
Over the past 12 months, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets completed 469 critical missions, of these, 236 were completed by the Brisbane-based service and 233 by the Townsville operation.
“There’s been a significant increase in activity for our jet operation. In 2018, we saw 395 people helped by the service, and in the past year we’ve seen that figure jump to 469,” said RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance Chief Pilot John Cornet.
“These numbers show how important this service is both locally and abroad.”
2019 also marked a significant milestone for the service, celebrating 15 years of the vital Air Ambulance operation being based in South East Queensland.
“We’re proud that our jets have been able to make such a positive impact in the lives of so many Queenslanders over the past 15 years. Our operation really is an essential life line for Queensland and beyond,” said Mr Cornett.
The jet fleet services regional Queensland, transferring patients – many of whom are critically ill or injured – to major centres, where they can access attention and expertise which may not be available in smaller communities.
“After supporting the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service for more than 25 years, RACQ is proud to start the next decade as sponsors of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets,” RACQ Chief Communications Officer Paul Turner said.
“The jet service provides such a vital link in Queensland’s health service network and like RACQ, the jets provide peace of mind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – not only for members, but for all Queenslanders.”