The service has already recorded a 21-per-cent increase this year in tasking compared to 2020 and has completed more than 270 missions in the first five months of the year.
The annual appeal is the major fundraiser for the Mackay-based rescue helicopter service which, in 2021, celebrates 25 years of saving lives across Central Queensland and the impressive milestone of 10,000 missions. RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said with mission numbers increasing every year, there was never a greater need for the life-saving service in the region or a better reason to support it.
It costs about $10.5 million annually to keep the rescue service in the sky saving lives 24/7, 365 days a year, he said, and a large proportion of this money comes from community donations, payroll deductions and sponsorship, was why the annual appeal was so important.
Covering a large area with one helicopter
“From our base here in Mackay, we cover an area four times the size of Tasmania with one primary and one reserve helicopter,” said Rowan. “It’s a huge job but this is a not-for-profit service which is absolutely critical to the sick and injured within our community. When every second counts, where would they be without RACQ CQ Rescue?”
Rowan said one of the huge benefits of donating to a local, lifesaving charity like RACQ CQ Rescue was that the money stayed in the region where it is donated. “When people give where they live, we all benefit because your money stays right here and is directly helping our service save lives in Central and North Queensland.”
Donors become heroes to the organization
RACQ CQ Rescue pilots and air crews are also strongly urging people to show their support for the work conducted by the crew every day and to donate generously to this year’s Annual Appeal.
“Anyone who donates becomes a hero to this organization – made this anything we do or any time we fly has the potential to be lifesaving,” RACQ CQ Rescue Pilot Owen Maitland said.
“Donations are what keeps us flying and you never know when you’re going to need us,” Pilot Doug White added. “The next life we help save might be yours or someone that you love.”