RACQ CareFlight Rescue flies 159 lifesaving missions over summer holidays

RACQ CareFlight Rescue has flown 159 lifesaving missions during the summer holidays, keeping a watchful eye over communities in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales 24 hours a day.

“That’s an average of nearly four missions a day,” CareFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said.

“Toowoomba was the busiest of our four bases with 60 missions, while the Sunshine Coast crew flew 54 air-medical retrievals.

“While we never like to see anyone needing our help, it’s gratifying to know that we’ve been there for people when they need us the most.”

The figures cover the Christmas school holiday period from Saturday December 13, to yesterday.

In the same time last holidays it was the Sunshine Coast helicopter which clocked up the most missions with 48, and Toowoomba’s crew performing 41 airlifts.

“It’s not really the number of missions, but the type of missions we fly,” Mr van de Velde said.

“For instance the Gold Coast flew 17 missions over this holiday period, but 11 of these involved new born babies and children – delicate tasks which can take anywhere from six to eight hours to complete.

“Bundaberg flew 28 missions over the holidays and these included a roof fall, a truck driver with serious head injuries and a near drowning.”

CareFlight is a not-for-profit rescue service that relies on community support to help fund a third of its lifesaving operations.

Donations can be made at www.careflight.org.au/donate .