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Surf Champion joins LifeFlight and Ken Mills Toyota for P-Plate Safety Program

Saving lives is the mission of LifeFlight aeromedical crews, and while the service is there to rescue Australians after an accident has occurred, prevention is always better than cure.

That’s why LifeFlight, which has just announced a record year for lifesaving missions, is pleased to work with their business partner Ken Mills Toyota to present free education evenings for P-Plate drivers.

2016 Ericeira World Junior Surfing Champion Isabella Nichols, Brand Ambassador for Ken Mills Toyota, will attend the next event, to be held on 13 September at the Maroochydore Service Centre starting at 6pm.

“When I got my P’s it was like the best freedom I’ve ever had in my life. Mum and Dad didn’t have to drive me to the beach,” said Isabella.

“I could just take off at a moment’s notice and do my own thing – it was pretty cool! But safety is so important, so the more knowledge you have, the better.”

The champion surfer now does a lot of driving - travelling to events, training and on surf trips.

Isabella, from Coolum Beach, met with local Year 12 student Ethan Forge at the LifeFlight Maroochydore hangar recently to find out more about the education evenings. Ethan attended the first of the events and found it a real eye-opener.

"It was an invaluable night for me,” he explained. “I learned really important skills, like changing tyres and what to do at accident sites.

“The techniques the LifeFlight paramedic, Brad Solomon demonstrated were awesome. I've just got my P-plates and I feel much more prepared now.”

As they checked out one of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters, Ethan filled Isabella in on the valuable info he learned at the education night, including recognising dangerous wear and tear to tyres, talking directly with a police officer, advice on using the right fuels, and quizzing the service experts on safety and maintenance.

“The LifeFlight guys do such awesome rescue work. They put their lives on the line to help everyone else,” said Isabella.

“I take my hat off to them for what they do. For them to team up with Ken Mills Toyota to help keep young people like Ethan and I safe on the roads, that’s really cool.”

LifeFlight Senior Paramedic, Brad Solomon has been with the charity organisation for more than 20 years and has been at the scene of countless road accidents, many involving young drivers.

“When a young driver gets their license it’s a very exciting time, but driving with friends, playing loud music and texting can be fatal distractions,” said Brad.

“I think many young drivers recognise these risk factors and are actively looking to educate themselves on how to prevent road accidents and minimise harm.

“It’s important for these P-platers to recognise that when they get behind the wheel of a car, the responsibility starts and ends with them. We hope to not only teach these drivers how to be safe on the roads by driving to speed limits, maintaining awareness and following road signs, but also what to do if an accident does occur.

“These P-Plater education sessions are such an important and valuable asset to our community. Educating young drivers is everyone’s responsibility and working together with Ken Mills Toyota allows us to help prevent and minimise motor vehicle accidents on our roads.”

LifeFlight crews, doctors and nurses have given a record number of people a second chance in 2016-17, performing more than 5000 lifesaving missions in the last 12 months, a 10 percent increase.

The end of the financial year marked the charity’s busiest year in its 36-year history, with aeromedical crews on its community rescue helicopters and Air Ambulance jets performing a record 5,252 missions – a service which would not be possible without the support of generous business partners like Ken Mills Toyota.

Numbers for the education evening are strictly limited to P-Plate drivers who are welcome to bring along one parent. Drinks and refreshments will be provided. To book, contact Ken Mills Toyota on 07 5443 6277.

LifeFlight is a community-based charity that relies on donations from the public and community support to the LifeFlight Foundation.

To support the LifeFlight Foundation visit:
https://www.lifeflight.org.au/page/support-us/