The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) and RACQ LifeFlight Rescue have officially launched their new, joint Bundaberg Aeromedical Base - and patients are already benefiting.
The first missions have already been flown in and out of the new base, by both organisations, less than 12 months after construction began.
Each year the two iconic aeromedical organisations fly more than 3,500 patients to emergency care from around the Bundaberg, Wide Bay and Central Queensland region.
As this number increases, the need for a modern and well-equipped facility has become a necessity, according to RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Staib.
“We’re just delighted to be able to officially open this new facility and begin to see the immediate impact it will have on the people of Bundaberg and Central Queensland,” Ms Staib said.
“This new base will allow both the RFDS and LifeFlight to deliver an even greater level of care with our new Patient Transfer Facility. This new area of the base will accommodate patients while they wait to move onto, or off an aircraft, keeping them out of the elements where our crews can attend to them in a more clinical and comfortable environment.
“We will also have more space for maintenance on both RFDS and LifeFlight aircraft and new simulation rooms for the ongoing training of our medical crews.
“We are incredibly grateful for this new base and what it means to the residents of Bundaberg and its surrounding regions.”
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Chairman, Rob Borbidge said a wave of support from the community, business and government, made the building of this base possible.
“The people who really need to be congratulated today, are those who have stepped up to support this once in a lifetime project. We could not have delivered this facility without the people of Bundaberg and beyond," Mr Borbidge said.
“We’ve been humbled by the community’s campaign, to see this world-class base come to life. Local businesses, community groups, families – even some of our own crew members - have donated generously. Thanks to the community’s support, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue and the Royal Flying Doctor Service will be able to provide world-class aeromedical services in the region, for generations to come.
“I want to acknowledge the support of the Australian government: this project would not have been able to proceed without the support of the Building Better Regions Fund and in particular, local member Keith Pitt, who’s been a champion of our lifesaving causes.
“Thank you also, to Bundaberg Regional Council, which has provided us with a 25-year, long-term leasehold.