Our History

Built on heritage, with eyes on the future.

Our world-class reputation has been built on a 40-year heritage of providing, through our community-based aero-medical and rescue helicopter network, 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 sunbaked, 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 inter-regional 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.

In 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.