Our purpose and history

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue has been Queensland’s leading community helicopter service for more than 40 years.

We bring emergency, lifesaving medical treatment to seriously ill and injured people. Our purpose has always been the same – to save lives and support Queenslanders during their time of need. This purpose is at the core of everything we do.

We are:

Every day, no matter the hour, no matter the location, we’re there if someone needs us.

A better way of improving patient outcomes is always top of mind. What can we do better, safer? How can we get there faster?

The time between new learnings in rescue situations and embedding them in best practice and training is rapid. We assess, learn and improve on everything we do and then...repeat.

We will always be there for the Queensland community, and for the partners and clients who leverage our services and support our mission through their patronage.

We enter often chaotic and dangerous situations calm and well prepared. Our patients and partners know they are working with an experienced team that is on top of its game. New learning is forged on the front lines one week and taught in our Training Academy the next. Because we are thorough in our approach, we can be confident in our delivery.

Our confidence makes people feel safe in the midst of uncertainty.

Our history

Our world-class reputation has been built on a 40-year heritage of providing an aerial mantle of safety across much of Queensland.

That service continues to operate on a not-for-profit basis, supported by State Government funding, community donations and corporate sponsorships.

Australia’s second-largest state by area (almost five times bigger than Germany and 22 times larger than the United Arab Emirates), Queensland sprawls from its sun baked, sparsely populated ‘outback’ and its tropical northern jungles to the growing metropolis of its capital; Brisbane, and the internationally-renowned surfing beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

In that often challenging environment, where on-the-ground medical treatment can be 100 kilometres or more away, LifeFlight helicopters have flown more than 56,000 missions over four decades, delivering rapid response critical care: from responding to motor vehicle accidents and patient retrievals from ships at sea to neo-natal and cardiac hospital transfers.

In 2004, our aero-medical capability reached new heights with the acquisition of our first, fully-equipped jet air ambulance to service the needs of the Queensland Health Department for interregional patient transfers and of the travel insurance industry and governments for medical repatriation tasking throughout Australia and beyond. To date, LifeFlight Air Ambulances have flown more than 6031 missions, from the Queensland outback to as far afield as Hawaii and Kenya.

As a further vote of confidence in our capabilities, for the past 15 years, Queensland Health has exclusively contracted LifeFlight for the recruitment, training and supply of doctors and nurses to the state’s other aero-medical providers, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the government’s own QGAir rescue helicopter fleet.

Recognising the often unique challenges posed by aero-medicine, LifeFlight Australia has sought, from our earliest years, to build a strong internal capability to train our people to the highest possible standards, whether in aviation, emergency medicine or in mission tasking and coordination.

Today, that ongoing commitment to quality training is embodied in the LifeFlight Training Academy, where our instructors pass on their current, real-world experience in aero-medicine to our medicos and flight crews, both upon recruitment and on a recurrent in-service basis. In addition, our Academy is delivering tailored training solutions to a growing number of external clients.

This includes governments and other aerial and emergency medicine service providers, who recognise and value our world-class instructional standards, augmented by such state-of-the-art training equipment as our Thales Reality H AW139 flight training simulator and ground-based AW139 medical and crew compartment simulators.

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