Graphic: QAS stretcher donation
A generous Christmas gift from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) will help deliver even greater levels of care for Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) patients in rural and remote Queensland.
The QAS has donated 38 Stryker stretchers to the Flying Doctor to be provided to remote airstrips for the transfer of patients from QAS vehicles to RFDS aircraft.
Since 2014 the QAS has been upgrading its current fleet of manual stretchers with automatic lift stretchers.
RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the stretchers would be distributed to remote airstrips across the state on a need’s basis.
Locations to which the stretchers will be distributed include Dajarra and Gregory Downs in the north west; Mackay Palm Island, Collinsville and Charters Towers in North Queensland; Bamaga and Cooktown in the Far North; and Mitchell, Kingaroy and St George in the south west.
Ms Staib said eight of the stretchers would also be provided to RFDS Bases in Queensland for staff training purposes.
“By replacing old stretchers which were beginning to show their age, and standardising our service with these new stretchers, we’ll increase the efficiency in which we can transfer patients from QAS vehicles to RFDS aircraft,” Ms Staib said.
“We will also make it safer for our frontline personnel, including our medical staff and pilots, who often have to perform heavy lifting with the older stretchers.
“This generous gift from QAS will help streamline our patient transfer efforts in remote areas and help us get patients to the care they need even quicker. The RFDS transfers about 11,700 patients each year to emergency and specialist care across Queensland, and quite often, every second counts.
“We are extremely grateful for this donation from QAS and the efficient use of resources across health agencies to deliver world class healthcare, which highlights the strong history of collaboration between the RFDS, QAS and Queensland Health.”