Trent Kelly, from Warwick, with one of the “thoroughbred” racing pigs strutting their stuff at the RACQ LifeFlight family fun day in Kingaroy

October 9, 2017

Every time the RACQ LifeFlight helicopter flies out of Toowoomba to the South Burnett, it costs $12,500 … that was the figure shared by LifeFlight representative Nikki Bloom at the recent Family Fun Day held in Kingaroy.

And the monthly fuel bill for the Toowoomba LifeFlight base alone is $90,000.

The service receives government funding, but this covers just 69 per cent of costs, Nikki said, which is why donations from the public are still so important.

Past patient Cardell Turner hosted the inaugural Family Fun Day at Memorial Park to support the rescue helicopter service which saved his life.

Cardell was airlifted by the Toowoomba-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter after he was involved in a horrific dirt bike accident last September.

The father of two pledged to give back to LifeFlight, organising a day of family-friendly activities to help raise money for the LifeFlight Foundation.

There was pig racing, a car crash rescue simulation by Kingaroy firefighters and the opportunity to dunk local community members in LifeFlight’s first fundraising dunking tank.

Two of the first to go under were South Burnett councillors Ros Heit and Danita Potter, both sunk by well-aimed balls thrown by young Ryan Jones, 13.

(Ryan is the son of fellow councillor Gavin Jones but we’re not sure if Ryan was acting on his father’s instructions …)

There was also live music, a jumping castle, raffles and food stalls.

Cardell took to the stage to share his remarkable tale of survival in an emotional speech.

“As someone who has been personally rescued by this service, I know without LifeFlight, I would not be here today to kiss my wife and hug my two children,” Cardell said.

“It was great to see so many community members, local personalities and businesses come out in support of the Kingaroy Family Fun Day to help raise money for LifeFlight.

“Of course, this day would not have been possible without our major sponsors, CROW-FM, Stanwell and Bill Hull Car Centre.”

Nikki said Cardell had put in a phenomenal effort to bring the Family Fun Day together.

“Thank you to everyone who came out in support of Lifeflight and Cardell. The generous philanthropy of the South Burnett community continues to amaze us.

“With your continued support we can ensure our helicopters and air ambulance jets are there for anyone, anywhere and at any time,” she said.

More than 1042 LifeFlight airlifts were performed in the Wide Bay-Burnett region last financial year.

There were 303 missions flown in the South Burnett; 302 along the Fraser Coast; 138 in the North Burnett; 141 in the Bundaberg region; and 120 in Gympie.

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Cardell Turner, the mover and shaker behind the Family Fun Day, organised the event as a way of saying “thank you” to LifeFlight for saving his life … he shared the emotional story of his injury with the crowd
Life and death situations are too common for the men of the Kingaroy QFES who are called on to cut drivers and passengers out of wrecked vehicles … often with a LifeFlight helicopter waiting just down the road
This Mitsubishi Magna was sacrificed so the firefighters could practise their rescue skills 
Controlled mayhem as a window is smashed and a door removed … all while the “patient’s” neck is kept still to avoid any further injury
Darryl Roberts, from Taabinga Rotary, presented Nikki Bloom – the LifeFlight Community Engagement Officer for South-West Queensland – with a cheque for $2000, part of the profits from the recent Bookarama fundraiser in Kingaroy
Dennis Franklin and Margie Magnussen, from Stanwell, presented a cheque for $4000, the proceeds of Stanwell’s recent Charity Golf Day, to Nikki
Kingaroy residents Barry and Leanne Krosch, long-time supporters of LifeFlight, also presented a cheque to the organisation
Cardell Turner and Nikki Bloom, at front, with Cr Danita Potter, Amy Luhrs (LifeFlight), Dennis Franklin and Margie Magnussen (Stanwell), Barry and Leanne Krosch, and Trevor Watkins, Darryl Roberts, Kimberley McCullagh and Mick McAuliffe (Taabinga Rotary) 
The whipcrackers from St John’s Lutheran School put on an enthusiastic display
Dawn Wolski, from the Glendon Street Cafe which sponsored some of the racing pigs, with Cr Gavin Jones, his wife Wendy and son Ryan, 13
Pat Pitt, Edna Bastable and Alex Hall, from Kingaroy Rotary, were working on one of the food stalls
Cr Ros Heit was all prepared for her stint on the dunking chair …
… and down she goes! Although the day was so warm a cool dip was appreciated
Cr Danita Potter – hat and sunglasses intact – emerges dripping from the dunking tank after her drop into the cold water, courtesy of a well-thrown ball by young Ryan Jones 

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