SW Millmerran rollover.
SW Millmerran rollover.

Roma-based LifeFlight attended over 60 critical missions

Dozens of southwest Queenslander’s lives were saved by LifeFlight’s Toowoomba and Roma-based Surat Gas Aeromedical Service (SGAS) in 2020, data has revealed.

Sixty-three critical missions were performed to airlift southwest patients requiring emegency medical assistance to hospitals in Toowoomba and Brisbane.

The SGAS was created in 2011 by four CSG/LNG organisations, Arrow Energy, Origin Energy, Queensland Gas Company, and Santos to ensure their employees, their families and community members in southwestern Queensland had access to prompt emergency medical services and to minimise the impact on local medical services.

They have drawn on the aeromedical experience of Queensland’s iconic LifeFlight, to provide local communities this lifesaving care.

“24/7, 365 days a year, LifeFlight is ready to provide the best care possible, should the worst happen,” Director of Helicopter Operations, Brian Guthrie, said.

In comparison, Toowoomba’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base has retained the title of Queensland’s busiest aeromedical chopper base, after completing 650 critical missions – including attending a significantly higher number of car crashes – in the 2020 calendar year.

“Our Toowoomba crews were called to 91 motor vehicle accidents, between January and December 2020,” Mr Guthrie said.

“That’s up more than 20 per cent on the previous year.”

On average, that is up to two motor vehicle incidents a week which are so serious, they require an aeromedical response.

In the 12 months to January, the fleet of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue community helicopters completed 1,947 missions.

In 2020, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets, community helicopters and critical care doctors came to the aid of 6,186 people.

“The service RACQ LifeFlight Rescue provides, in Queensland, is second-to-none,” Brian Guthrie said.

“While 2020 wasn’t our busiest year overall, for our RACQ LifeFlight Rescue choppers, we’re really proud of our performance, over the past 12 months.

“Nearly 2000 lives were saved, by our rotary aircraft across Queensland, because RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews were able to quickly respond.”

Toowoomba crews completed 650 critical missions, valued at more than $16.2 million. Those airlifts come at no costs to patients.