Upon learning that the original helipad at Rockhampton Hospital had become a concern for our pilots, the president of the Rockhampton North Rotary Club set about making a difference. During 2003, nine Rotary clubs in the area funded and built a helipad extension, almost doubling the size of the original landing area. The upgraded helipad extension also allowed the helicopter to land in a more favourable easterly direction and facilitated a safer and more effective way to hand over patients. It was a proud achievement for the community and our service.
Always looking for ways to improve and grow the service, the CapRescue executive team identified the need to establish refueling sites in remote locations across Central Queensland. To allow for greater flexibility and flying range, drums of fuel were placed in Marlborough, Stanage Bay, Middlemount, Blackwater and Baralaba. Further growth was achieved when, after researching various systems, the service was able to recommend and sell portable helipad lighting kits for use at unlit airfields and roadside accident scenes. The previous method of illumination was proving impractical and unsafe.
The safety of a Navy seaman on board HMAS Tobruk was in question during March, when CapRescue were tasked to a position 150 km north of Rockhampton, just off the coast of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. The assistance of CapRescue in evacuating the Navy seaman, thought to be suffering appendicitis, was requested at around 3 pm. After a meeting point was confirmed, our helicopter landed on the vessel’s rear deck and shut down. While the onboard paramedic prepared the patient for transport back to Rockhampton, the Navy crew happily refuelled our helicopter.
Rescue300 lands on the rear deck of HMAS Tobruk.