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LifeFlight Australia assisted record number of people in 2021

LifeFlight Australia Press Release | January 27, 2022

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 34 seconds.

LifeFlight Australia has marked a record-breaking year, with RACQ LifeFlight Rescue community helicopters, Air Ambulance jets and Critical Care medical teams coming to the aid of 6,846 people – the highest number of patients helped in a calendar year, by the aeromedical service. 

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter and jet crews flew 2,503 critical missions in 2021. RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Photo

In 2021, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter and jet crews flew 2,503 critical missions, topping last calendar year’s total of 2,433. 

“Our crews provide outstanding emergency and lifesaving aeromedical care, 24/7, 365 days a year, and it comes at no cost to the patient,” RACQ LifeFlight Rescue General Manager of Operations Brian Guthrie said. 

Despite being tasked to a myriad of serious missions, motor-vehicle accidents continue to be one of the most common call outs, across all five RACQ LifeFlight Rescue community helicopter bases.

The service’s long term naming rights sponsor RACQ, is urging drivers to put safety first, to reduce the number of serious crashes on roads across the state. 

“Last year 274 people lost their lives on Queensland roads, that’s thousands of lives changed forever, families and communities torn apart,” RACQ spokesperson Kate Leonard-Jones said.

“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue does an incredible job, but we don’t want drivers meeting the crew because of a crash.”

The top five patient injury and illness types in Queensland in 2021 for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters were: 

  1. Cardiac (284)
  2. Motor vehicle accidents (258)
  3. Serious illness/infection (257)
  4. Respiratory (not COVID-19) (139)
  5. Neurological (108)

In 2021, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Air Ambulance jets, based in Brisbane and Townsville, performed 441 missions. 

Of those, 185 were tasked from the Brisbane base and 256 out of Townsville. 

“The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets are normally called upon to transport people to a higher level of care, to tertiary hospitals, usually from rural and remote areas,” said RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance Jets General Manager Tim McGuire. 

“Our jet crews remain on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help anyone in need.”

This press release was prepared and distributed by LifeFlight Australia.

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