RACQ CQ Rescue flew six missions in just 24 hours on 1 January, heralding the start of another very busy year for the region’s rescue service. During the day, the Mackay-based helicopter flew the length and breadth of its service area, including two transfers to Mackay Base Hospital from Clermont and one from Moranbah, the Whitsundays, Nebo and Bowen.
Patients transported by the rescue helicopter ranged in age from 10 to 59-years-old, and were transported for a number of medical conditions including cardiac, obstetrics, fractures from falls and envenomations.
On New Year’s Eve, a child was transported to Mackay Base Hospital after being stung by an Irukandji jellyfish while swimming at a resort in the Whitsundays. The 10-year-old was the fourth person to be treated for a marine sting in the Whitsundays in two days, when RACQ CQ Rescue landed on Whitehaven Beach to give medical attention to three Swedish tourists who’d been stung whilst swimming. Fortunately, they didn’t require transport to hospital.
RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said the rescue helicopter and crew had completed an impressive 550 missions in 2017, the second highest tasking numbers in the service’s 21-year history. He added: “Our rescue helicopter’s mission numbers are increasing annually and these incredible figures are an accurate representation of the ever-growing necessity for such a life-saving service in this region. From our base here in Mackay we cover an area four times the size of Tasmania with one primary and one back-up aircraft. Despite this, we can still maintain a 98 per cent level of availability to those who need us within our community and that is one of the highest rates within aeromedical retrieval services in the state.”