Pilot Dale Bourke earnt a well-deserved rest in March, after saving the lives of four people during a single 24-hour shift. With little time to twiddle his thumbs, Dale launched at 7 am, airlifting a critically injured motorcyclist from the scene of an accident.
Just two hours after the first call came in, Dale was again in the pilot’s seat heading in the direction of Glen Geddes. The CapRescue helicopter landed 200 m away from a man crushed by a tree on a property about 60 km north of Rockhampton. Thankfully a QAS paramedic was able to make it to the property and provide treatment prior to the arrival of the CapRescue helicopter.
CapRescue was put on standby on a further two occasions throughout the day, but it was not until 7 pm that Dale was once again behind the controls. This time landing at a location approximately 5 km north of Marlborough to airlift a small child run over by a hay cart. CapRescue landed at the Rockhampton Hospital helipad, where the emergency staff were prepared and waiting to treat the young boy for facial injuries.
To finish off a very busy shift, CapRescue was tasked at 3 am the following morning to attend a motorcycle crash near Ogmore. The rider suffered extensive injuries and required stabilising prior to being transported by Dale and the CapRescue crew.
To assist Dale and the CapRescue pilots, three full-time crew members joined the team: one from QFES and two from QAS. The addition of full-time medically trained crew members was a great milestone for our organisation and improved both the safety and the professionalism of our service.
Chalking up another milestone, CapRescue was able to purchase both a Bambi Fire Bucket and a ‘Jaws of Life’ after receiving a $15,000 grant from the Jupiter’s Casino Community Benefit Fund. The Bambi Fire Bucket gave CapRescue the ability to drop water and fire retardant onto life-threatening fires, while the ‘Jaws of Life’ allowed the crew to extricate patients trapped in vehicle wreckage. Both critical pieces of equipment were welcomed by the team and community.
Construction of the first CapRescue hangar was carried out during 1998.