RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper a star attraction at Ekka nightly show

The crowd will look to the sky at the nightly Ekka show as the distinctive new RACQ LifeFlight Rescue (formerly RACQ CareFlight Rescue) helicopter, flown by Chief Pilot Paul Forcier, hovers above the main arena to perform a winch operation.

During the display, a rescuer will be winched down to the ground to demonstrate the skill and rapid response capability of LifeFlight air and medical crews.

LifeFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said he was delighted that LifeFlight would be part of such an iconic Queensland event as the Ekka.

“LifeFlight, formerly known as CareFlight, has been saving lives and proudly serving Queensland for 35 years,” Mr van de Velde said.

“As Queensland’s major community helicopter rescue service, we have had long term engagement and a special connection with rural and regional communities in Queensland.

“Last year LifeFlight performed a display for two nights during the Ekka and I’m pleased to say that we’ll have an even greater presence as part of the evening entertainment this year.

“The not-for-profit charity continues its community rescue service under a new brand – LifeFlight – as it celebrates its distinguished 35-year history.”

Mr van de Velde said he was proud of the record year in 2015-16 for LifeFlight’s community helicopter rescue service where its 12 aircraft flew 1,864 lifesaving missions – a 32% increase on missions for the previous year.

LifeFlight Chief Pilot Paul Forcier, who will be flying in the nightly show, said he was delighted and privileged to be part of an iconic Queensland event as the Ekka.

“All of the LifeFlight crews know from our years of service and rescues around Queensland how much our community helicopter rescue service means to communities and just how vital the lifesaving service is to people in their hour of need,” he said.

“I’m sure that there will be plenty of Ekka visitors from rural and regional who will know someone whose life has been saved by our dedicated medical and air crews over the years.

“I think Ekka visitors will get a real thrill in having a ringside seat at the nightly show and being able to see how our crew in action.”