JAW-DROPPING STATS: In the last 12 months, a LifeFlight helicopter has been required in the South Burnett almost daily.
JAW-DROPPING STATS: In the last 12 months, a LifeFlight helicopter has been required in the South Burnett almost daily. Courtesy RACQ LifeFlight Rescue

Shock stats reveal LifeFlight's tragic link to South Burnett

IN THE last 12 months, a LifeFlight helicopter has assisted someone from the South Burnett almost daily.

Statistics from the 2018/19 financial year show the total number of missions to the South Burnett Regional Council region was 285.

Add to that the 284 from the previous financial year and you have a staggering 569 missions in the South Burnett region in the past two years alone.

That equates to a remarkable one out of every 57 South Burnett residents using the invaluable LifeFlight services.

LifeFlight fundraising co-ordinator in the North Coast region, Mandy Hentschel said these jaw-dropping numbers included 23 primary missions.

"That's where we have to get people winched off mountains,” Ms Hentschel said.

"Or car and motorcycle accidents.”

Ms Hentschel said the fully-equipped and staffed helicopters could be airborne within 10 minutes of a call-out.

"All our choppers are fitted out similar to an emergency department,” she said.

She said the helicopters carried a critical care doctor and a paramedic and the aim was to get them to the patient within an hour of the call-out.

"We call it the golden hour,” Ms Hentschel said.

"If you can get to them in that time, the chances of survival improve significantly.”

It costs more than $12,500 every time a chopper takes off for one of these life-saving missions.

"We are only 69 per cent government funded,” Ms Hentschel said.

"Each base has about a $1.6 million shortfall - that's before any of the choppers are in the air.”

Therefore, this rescue service would not be possible without the hard work and big hearts of community groups that raise money to keep it flying.

One such group turns up at the Nanango Country Markets each month with their buckets in hand to collect donations from car parkers.

Members of the Nanango Show Society raised an impressive $19,069.68 for LifeFlight in the last 12 month from car park donations alone.

Group spokeswoman Kayleen Bochmann said it was thanks to the tireless efforts of members such as Len, Keith, Roz and Brian who showed up every month for the worthy cause.

"Any person at any time could need that LifeFlight helicopter,” she said.

"It's for the community.

"Everyone that donates has that same opinion.”

It seems market-goers are more than willing to support the cause.

"One lady gave us $50,” Ms Bachman said.

"We often get $5, $10 or $20.”

Ms Hentschel had one simple request for anyone who wanted to get involved and help with fundraising for LifeFlight.

"Ring me, we would love to have them on board,” she said.

To get involved in fundraising, or as a volunteer with LifeFlight, contact Ms Hentschel on 5458 8710.