Rockhampton Regional Council is continuing its support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) and RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS) by waiving more than $166,000 in landing fees at Rockhampton Airport.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Tony Williams and Councillor Neil Fisher, Chair of Rockhampton Airport, this week presented cheques for $123,269.24 to RFDS and $43,525.75 to CHRS.
Mayor Tony Williams said Council was extremely grateful for the lifesaving services that the RFDS and CHRS provide to the local community.
“Both the RFDS and CHRS do so much for the community, and Council is once again honoured to reimburse 100% of their landing fees,” Mayor Williams said.
“This is a token of our appreciation in recognition of the important role that both services offer to those in need of urgent medical attention.”
Councillor Neil Fisher said it was wonderful to once again donate towards the essential, lifesaving services – an annual tradition that has been in place for more than 20 years.
“In the past year, RFDS landed 1726 times at Rockhampton Airport, transported a total of 2720 patients and flew more than 1 500 000 kilometres,” Cr Fisher said.
“CHRS also made a significant impact with 462 rescues, 340 patients transferred and 674 hours flown throughout the period.”
RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service Executive Director, Mark Fewtrell said CHRS had completed a record number of rescue missions since the introduction of the more advanced AW139 helicopter.
“Since the faster, more advanced AW139 helicopter joined the RACQ CapRescue fleet, our crew has responded to approximately 24% more tasks than in previous years,” Mr Fewtrell said.
“Unfortunately, the increase in rescues also means that our costs have risen quite significantly.
“This donation from the Rockhampton Regional Council comes during a time of great need, and we thank Council for their continued investment in saving the lives of Central Queenslanders.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Staib said the organisation was incredibly grateful for Council’s ongoing support.
“Our Rockhampton Base transfers the most patients of the 12,000 patients we fly across Queensland each year, and in the period of the landing fees, our crews flew the equivalent distance of almost two trips to the moon and back – delivering lifesaving care along the way,” Ms Staib said.
“This donation will help keep us in the air so we can continue to provide the finest care to the furthest corner – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”