First mission from new RACQ LifeFlight Rescue hangar is underway

Within 45 minutes of the new Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter hangar becoming operational, the aeromedical crew was tasked on its first mission from the new facility.

The helicopter is on its way to airlift a medical patient from a location west of Gympie.

Community helicopter mssions for the south-west region will now be deployed from the not-for-profit service's new base at the Clive Berghofer LifeFlight Centre at Wilstonton.

Packing and moving people and equipment has been underway since the official opening of the hangar on Saturday 1st of September.

Today (Tues 11th Sept), arguably the most important last-minute items were packed and moved - the pilots, air crew officers, engineers, medical staff...and the helicopters.

Two aircraft are based in Toowoomba. The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue community helicopter and the Surat Gas Aeromedical Service helicopter. Both are new AW 139 helicopters.

Toowoomba Base Lead, pilot Russell Bennett said the high-tech fleet has lifesaving benefits for the south-west Queensland community. 

“The 139 is a faster aircraft so we can get to our patients more quickly.  The sophisticated Emergency Medical Service (EMS) fit-out means patients receive more advanced care from our expert medical crew, while they’re in the air, "said Mr Bennett.

The multi-million dollar, purpose-built RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter hangar includes comprehensive engineering facilities to keep the helicopters operational.

The night-shift staff are ready for their first sleep-over at the new base, which features on-site crew quarters, so the aeromedical team can respond even more quickly to potentially life-threatening situations.

"This base is a one-stop shop for us to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently.  Everything we need is under the one roof at the new facility.  The crew are very excited to be working from this brand new base," said Mr Bennett.