WORLD CLASS: New facility treats 1300 patients over 12 months
It’s been 12 months since two Bundaberg emergency service organisations joined forces to deliver the best medical care from a world-class facility.
Bundaberg’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue and Queensland’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) moved into their new aeromedical base facility last year and have transferred a total of 1384 patients.
RFDS Queensland chief executive officer Meredith Staib thanked the Federal Government for investing funds into the facility which has bolstered health service delivery for the region.
“Over the past year 1107 patients have been transferred to or from emergency and specialist treatment via the RFDS Bundaberg Base,” Ms Staib said.
“This modern and well-equipped base enables our crew to deliver world-class aeromedical care.
“Among the facility’s features are increased maintenance space, a state-of-the-art clinical simulation room for the ongoing training of our staff and a new Patient Transfer Facility which ensures patients are kept out of the elements while they wait to move onto or off an aircraft.”
Over the last 365 days Bundaberg’s RACQ LifeFlight Rescue team has responded to more than 280 critical missions throughout the Wide Bay Burnett and Central Queensland regions.
During the last 12 months, more than 40 patients have been flown to hospital as a result of motor vehicle incidents and four men were rescued from the hull of a capsized catamaran in November.
Chief executive officer for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Ashley van de Velde said the new aeromedical base has enabled crews to be respond to emergencies quicker especially night crews who can now sleep on-site at the facility’s dedicated accommodation quarters.
“RACQ LifeFlight Rescue always appreciates the strong support we receive but this base is a testament to just how far communities are willing to go to ensure the best medical care is available 24/7,” Mr van de Velde said.
“Keeping the chopper maintained has been made more efficient thanks to a specialised engineering room off the hangar too.”
Visiting the base on its first anniversary today (Tuesday), Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said local RFDS and LifeFlight crews do a fantastic job caring for patients in their time of need.
“The official opening had to be cancelled last year due to COVID-19, however the work of RFDS and RACQ LifeFlight Rescue has not stopped,” Mr Pitt said.
“As well as improved airside access the base provides dedicated accommodation for more patients and operational crews, public meeting spaces, clinical training and simulation rooms, as well as onsite engineering and maintenance facilities.
“The base has increased efficiency with RFDS incorporating a Bundaberg stopover in a daily scheduled service between Rockhampton and Brisbane and the additional hangar space means LifeFlight will be able to respond to any increase in demand, moving forward.”
LifeFlight and RFDS each funded $1.5 million towards the joint aeromedical base, while the Australian Government invested $3 million to the project through its Building Better Regions Fund.