Searches and motor vehicle incidents were among the most common callouts for the busy Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter last year.
In 2022 the local base helped 305 people, costing approximately $7.6 million at no cost to patients.
Across Australia crews came to the aid of 6,978 people.
LifeFlight group head of operations Yvette Lutze says 2022 demonstrated how indispensable the aeromedical service was to the Wide Bay-Burnett region.
“These are not just numbers to us, they’re actually people,” she says.
“It’s someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter, and they’re at their most vulnerable. That matters to us.
“They don’t have a choice in how they’re transported and it’s up to us to provide them the critical care that they need in the safest possible way.
“It’s not something that we take lightly here at LifeFlight.”
The Bundaberg crews clocked up 356 flying hours, with a major portion of that being spent on 36 wide-scale searches, due to the chopper’s specialist search capabilities.
The top five mission categories in 2022 for the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter were:
- Cardiac (41)
- Search (36)
- Motor vehicle incidents (31)
- Neurological (22)
- Serious illness/ infection (20)
Chopper crews were called into action 31 times to respond to motor vehicle incidents, including those involving motorists and motorcyclists, in crashes both on and off road across the region.
One of the 2022 jobs that demonstrated the expertise of Bundaberg’s highly trained crews was the skilled search mission for three stranded boaties whose catamaran had sunk, north of Bundaberg, back in February.
The Bundaberg crews also played a major role in the aerial response to the flood emergencies in early 2022, performing numerous rescues including winching a young girl, a couple and their four dogs to safety after their home was cut off by extensive flooding in January.