News -

Major milestone for new Clive Berghofer LifeFlight Centre

The much-anticipated new Clive Berghofer LifeFlight Centre is just one month away from officially opening.

The multi-million dollar project at Toowoomba Airport, is nearing completion and the official opening is confirmed for Saturday 1st September.

The Clive Berghofter LifeFlight Centre will be the new home of the Toowoomba-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter and the Surat Gas Aeromedical Service (SGAS) Rescue helicopter.

"This is a significant milestone for our aeromedical rescue services and for the south-west Queensland community. We are just four weeks away from opening this wonderful state of the art facility," said LifeFlight Foundation Board member Stewart Morland.

The Clive Berghofer LifeFlight Centre includes the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter hangar, engineering facilities, office and administration space and accommodation for crew members who are on-call to respond to emergencies.

"Having the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crews, LifeFlight critical care doctors and Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) critical care paramedics on-site is vitally important. Being able to get our crew into the helicopter without delay and flying quickly to assist in an emergency is priceless. In a life-threatening situation, every minute counts", said Mr Morland.

The project is 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  All building work is complete. The fit-out is also finished.  Hutchinson Builders are completing the epoxy floor surface and line-marking inside the helicopter hangar and putting finishing touches on landscaping around the site. Everything will be ready for opening day.  

Today sponsors, the media, patients who have been airlifted by a LifeFlight helicopter and their families were given a tour of the site and updated on the progress.

Peter Gilmore (Gilly) was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital by LifeFlight a year ago, after collapsing at his Goomburra home due to bleeding on the brain.

Gilly's family believes the quick intervention saved his life.

"I say to people when we see a LifeFlight Helicopter fly over - don't just pray for the patient they're helping, pray for the LifeFlight crew as well. What they do is so important, we need them to get where they're going safely," said Peter's wife, Helen.

Anthea Brotherton was just six weeks old when she suffered a stroke late last year and was transferred by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter from Toowoomba to the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit specialists were on-board with Anthea all the way, but it meant there was no room for her mother Karli Hyder on the helicopter.

"I just had to put my trust in the doctors and LifeFlight. I knew she was being well-cared for.  They kept me informed all the way. Doctors at the hospital told me she got there with only an hour to spare. Without LifeFlight, she wouldn't have made it" she said.

In 2014, Sharon Gitsham heard about an accident on the Kogan Condamine Rd blocking her route home from work, only to discover family members were victims of the crash.

Her husband Brad and son Thomas were hit from behind by a driver texting at the wheel of a 35 tonne truck.

Thomas was freed fairly quickly and taken to hospital, but Brad was trapped in the wreckage of his ute for three hours.

He was in a critical condition when LifeFlight airlifted him to hospital.

"Brad was a fencing contractor, he'll never work again but we take each day as it comes. We're so grateful for LifeFlight.  We're grateful he's alive."

Federal Member for Groom and Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh will conduct offical duties to declare the Clive Berghofer Lifeflight Centre open on the 1st of September.

The opening will be celebrated with the "Behind the Hangar Doors Ball", the most unique event on the social calendar. The black tie ball will be held inside the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter hangar.

Tickets are selling quickly and proceeds go to the LifeFlight Foundation which raises much-needed funds, used to cover almost 30% of the cost of staging hundreds of life-saving missions in the south-west region every year.

Long-term corporate partners IOR and New Hope Group are proud to present the ball, which will give a glamorous twist to a behind-the-scenes look at the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service.

"This is a chance for members of the public to get a special look at our world-class centre, have a private tour, enjoy an elegant evening with some incredible entertainment and raise funds to help keep the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters in the air serving the community," said Mr Morland.

When "Save a Life Sponsors", Wilson Towing and G&K Lawson Construction discovered it costs on average $12 500 each time an RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flies to someone's aid, they each generously contributed enough money to cover the cost of a potentially life-saving mission.

Scene Change, Alcyone Hotel Residences, Ryley Jewellery Creations, NAB, The Chronicle and Pronto Direct have also contributed funds to make the "Behind the Hangar Doors Ball" a success.

Tickets are available at - tinyurl.com/LifeFlightBall2018