RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s newest recruits given their ‘wings’

The group of doctors hail from Australia and around the world, with nine international doctors leaving their hometowns of England, Finland, Denmark and Sweden to join the lifesaving organisation. 

Trading the relatively controlled hospital environment for the unknowns of front-line emergency response, these doctors are put through a range of simulated exercises and clinical training to prepare them for their new role.

The new doctor recruits are thrown underwater and upside-down in Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), learn to breathe underwater using an Electronic Breathing System (EBS) and work closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) personnel over eight hours of mock car crash scenarios. 

LifeFlight recruits and trains around 130 doctors every year, supplying medical staff to all Queensland-based emergency medical retrieval services. LifeFlight doctors are aboard not only RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters, but also rescue aircrafts based at Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Roma and Brisbane.

At any hour of the day, there is an average of two LifeFlight Doctors in the air around Queensland, saving lives. LifeFlight doctors treat and transport more than 10 patients every day, caring for more than 5000 people per year.

LifeFlight Retrieval Medicine’s Director of Training, Dr Jeff Hooper said it was important these doctors learn to adapt to their new work environment.

“This training helps to prepare our doctors for treating patients in the back of a rescue helicopter or in remote areas where they may need to think on their feet and adapt to their surroundings,” he said.

“All our doctors are highly-skilled and are often trained in emergency medicine, anesthetics or intensive-care specialties. Combined with the training exercises taught over these two weeks, our doctors are able to provide world-class aeromedical care to thousands of Queenslanders every year.”

Dr Joey Lindqvist from Sweden said he’d heard many great things about the organisation and when he and his family decided they needed a sea change Australia was the obvious choice. 

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience, you get to work in a really cool place, for me it’s a dream come true,” Joey said.

The role of a LifeFlight doctor is a highly sought after position, with new recruits employed twice a year locally and from across the globe including from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Brazil, and the Netherlands.

2017 was a record year for LifeFlight for lifesaving missions with its aeromedical crews, community helicopters and Air Ambulance jets performing a record 5,344 missions throughout Queensland and around the world.

LifeFlight is a community-based charity funded and supported by the LifeFlight Foundation

To support the LifeFlight Foundation visit:www.lifeflightfoundation.org.au