An RACQ LifeFlight helicopter comes in to land at Kingaroy Hospital … inter-hospital transfers were also a large part of the Toowoomba-based helicopter’s workloads

July 20, 2022

Toowoomba has retained its title as the busiest RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter base, according to figures released on Wednesday by LifeFlight.

The Toowoomba helicopter helped 656 people during the past 12 months and spent 854 hours in the air.

The missions were valued at about $16.4 million but were free for patients.

The helicopter was tasked to 68 motor vehicle incidents, including road crashes as well as motorbike, quad bike and other off-road crashes.

Motor vehicle incidents were the second most common mission type.

The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter also services the South Burnett region.

Last year, one out of every three call-outs for the Bundaberg crew was to help a person injured in a motor vehicle crash or a fall, or who had gone missing.

The statistics show the Bundaberg helicopter helped 287 people, spent almost 400 hours flying with missions valued at about $7.2 million.

Top 5 mission types for Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue:

1. Serious illness/infection (78)

2. Motor vehicle incidents (76)

3. Cardiac (68)

4. Respiratory (not COVID-19) (68)

5. Falls (41)

Top 5 mission types for Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue:

1. Motor vehicle accidents (32), Falls (32)

2. Searches (30)

3. Cardiac (29)

4. Serious illness/infection (27)

LifeFlight provides its services via a service agreement with the State Government, the sponsorship of RACQ and profit-for-purpose social enterprises, however a spokesperson said the organisation relied on community help make up nearly 30 per cent of funding every year.

In the 2021-22 financial year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s community helicopters, air ambulance jets, critical care doctors, flight nurses and flight paramedics helped a record 6825 people.

LifeFlight’s Toowoomba and Roma-based Surat Gas Aeromedical Service (SGAS) helicopters also airlifted 86 patients.

This included flying people in need of medical care from remote Arrow Energy, Origin Energy, Shell QGC and Santos sites, as well as performing community missions.

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