Mount Isa gets new RACQ LifeFlight chopper

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s BK117 was officially launched today, landing at a local Mt Isa Oval and greeted by primary school children, having flown more than 10 hours to reach its new home.

The upgraded chopper included a better medical platform, improved speed and range and would allow for two patients instead of one to be transported in most situations.

The chopper would also be Night Vision Goggle capable which enabled landings in almost any location within a 300km radius as well as winching equipment being introduced.

RACQ LifeFlight Deputy Chairman Jim Elder said the organisation was honoured to provide an improved level of care to the north west community.

“We said we would upgrade the RACQ LifeFlight service to the north west and we have delivered the helicopter earlier than we had expected,” Mr Elder Said.

“We would expect the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter to more than double its flying hours and the tasking for lifesaving missions in 2017-18 to 100-150 hours.”

RACQ’s Head of Community and Education David Contarini said the upgraded helicopter would save lives, especially for motor vehicle crash victims.

“This service can be the difference between life and death for its patients,” Mr Contarini said.

“RACQ LifeFlight crews just completed its busiest year with more than 5000 missions state-wide so it’s great to see a new multi-million chopper assist in saving even more people.

“The Mount Isa Rescue teams alone recorded a 32 percent increase in missions last year so delivering a helicopter that can fly further, for longer and has all the extra upgrades on board is vital for the region.”