24/7 and 365 days of the year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue is on standby to go above and beyond for those who need it most and in 2020 they faced a surge of motor vehicle incidents and people needing help.
As a member of the LifeFlight Foundation Board, I find the stories of survival and sadly great loss, leave a lasting impact and 2020 was no different.
I'm truly proud of the performance of these crews who keep showing up for our community, knowing that without their presence – some people may not survive.
The latest statistics show the Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue conducted 102 motor vehicle incident missions between January and December 2020 – which is an increase of 10 per cent to the year before and an average of two incidents a week.
Not only is this a costly exercise for this not-for-profit organisation, but many of these crashes are avoidable so it's important drivers think twice before they get behind the wheel and remember the Fatal Five. That means not speeding, driving tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, putting away distractions like mobile phones and wearing a seatbelt.
What is so remarkable about this organisation is that it conducts these airlifts with no costs to the patients.
Director of Helicopter Operations, Brian Guthrie said the service LifeFlight provides, in Queensland, is second-to-none.
"Nearly 2,000 lives were saved, by our rotary aircraft across Queensland, because LifeFlight crews were able to quickly respond," Mr Guthrie said.
Sunshine Coast crews completed 502 critical missions in 2020, valued at more than $12.5 million! That's a lot of fundraising to keep the crews in the air.
The top five Sunshine Coast callouts, according to illness and injury:
- Cardiac conditions (109)
- Motor vehicle accidents (102)
- Neurological conditions (44)
- Falls (including bushwalking/hiking, domestic and elderly) (34)
- Serious illnesses/infections (27)
Unfortunately, during a year of uncertainty from the pandemic, fundraising has slowed.
I encourage our community to rally behind this incredible organisation so the crews can continue to deliver a critical service – because you never know if you or someone you love will need their help.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.