On Sunday, 10th September, whilst many Central Queenslanders were out enjoying the Spring sunshine. The RACQ CapRescue crew were busy keeping the people of our 350,000km2 region safe.
This dedicated team were flying miles and reaching milestones as their 5th task for the weekend saw them clock up 10,000 rescues!
Pilot Mitch Vernon, Air Crew Officer Dave Paterson and Senior Flight Paramedic Jon Ferguson were so proud to be able to deliver this service and be part of the team reaching this momentous occasion for the service.
Dave Paterson was the first to become aware that the crew had performed their 9999th rescues.
“We have to log each of our tasks, and I realised that we were one away and just felt that it would be an honour to be part of an incredible achievement for CapRescue.
Every one of those tasks is someone’s family, friend or co-worker, and to know I’ve been involved in helping so many lives is what makes this job so rewarding,” said Mr Paterson.
It made those on shift reminisce about the different missions they had been involved with.
Senior Pilot Mitchel Vernon reflected that never knowing what is going to happen when the phone rings is just part of what he loves about his job.
“One of my most memorable tasks at RACQ CapRescue was when we were needed to rescue a young woman who had slipped down the face of Virgin Rock in Springsure back in 2015. She clung to a tiny branch growing out of the cliff face rocks for several hours,” said Mr Vernon.
It is no surprise for Operations Manager Kirsty Wooler that this number has been reached this year.
“It appears that Rescue300 heading to the skies 50 times in January at an operational cost of $1.1 million set the scene for what the year would bring.
As of the end of September, we have performed over 380 rescues, and our average daily tasks are on the way up,” said Ms Wooler
Whilst the crew’s most common mission is transporting patients from facilities, CapRescue has also attended multiple rural property accidents involving livestock and equipment. Motor Vehicle accidents remain a confronting portion of the crew’s responsibilities, and they are a vital part of any search and rescue mission over land or sea.
“I consider myself extremely lucky to come to work each day and help people at the same time. The RACQ CapRescue Service plays a vital role in looking after the community. It’s a big area, and to get into those areas and bring people back to the care they require is a good thing,” said Mr Paterson.
RACQ CapRescue extends its gratitude to all of the dedicated crew members, engineers, paramedics, doctors, and everyone who has been instrumental in saving lives over the past 26 years. Thanks also go to RACQ, our naming rights sponsor, our valued business partners, and the incredible community that has unwaveringly supported our life-saving mission through generous donations, attending events, and volunteering.
“We are in this together, and a big region needs a fast response.” Mitch Vernon.