Fly Back Facts | 2002

The Marlborough community opened their helipad and memorial garden on 24 July, marking the second anniversary of the fatal crash that took place not far from the township. Still reeling from the crash, CapRescue turned its focus to collaborative training exercises with a variety of local emergency service groups and establish strong working relationships, enhance the skills of the many agencies often on scene at the same time and ensure that all groups were trained to the same standard. Put into practice, the CapRescue crew and QAS paramedics completed a helicopter underwater escape training course at a Rockhampton public swimming pool, and winch training was conducted with the Yeppoon Coast Guard and the State Emergency Service (SES) in Mt Morgan.

Collaborative training with the local emergency groups proved to be advantageous when the CapRescue crew were tasked to the scene of an abseiling accident at Gai-i in September. Emu Park ambulance officers were first on scene, after trekking more than 1 km through the scrub to get to the base of the mountain. A woman was located on a steep and slippery section of the mountain after falling and breaking her femur. The attending QAS officers assessed the situation and called for backup, including a dozen SES personnel from surrounding areas and an intensive care paramedic. SES volunteers used ropes and a stretcher to carry the injured woman down the mountain where, after a five-hour long rescue operation, they met the CapRescue helicopter.

Image: 2002
Permanent offices and crew sleeping quarters were included in an upgrade to the CapRescue hangar facility during 2002.