Release date: 25 October 2021

LifeFlight fundraising goal achieved at the inaugural wine event

A recent fundraising lunch at the Lakehouse Restaurant at the Brightwater Hotel shone the spotlight on the individual cost of every lifesaving mission undertaken by local rescue service RACQ LifeFlight Rescue.

The inaugural Travis Schultz & Partners Wine Lunch for LifeFlight, attended by over 150 local business people heard from LifeFlight Foundation director Steve Francia who said each of the 584 critical rescues the service undertook last year came at a cost of $25,000 per mission.

“LifeFlight continues to rely heavily on funding from Queensland communities including the Sunshine Coast where we have some wonderful supporters. The goal of the wine lunch was to raise $25,000 which is the cost of an individual rescue.

“I am sure most people are surprised at this cost and unless you have direct involvement with LifeFlight or know someone who has been involved in a rescue mission,” Mr Francia said.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Director of Helicopter Operations, Brian Guthrie, said the $25,000 figure covers a range of operational costs.

“That includes staffing, fuel, maintenance and the vital medical equipment needed to save Queensland lives.

“For each hour of flying, a rotary-wing aircraft requires approximately four hours of maintenance, which is performed by specialised staff at LifeFlight’s Heavy Maintenance Base, in Archerfield,” Mr Guthrie said

Last financial year, Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews completed more than 2,000 critical missions.  Those airlifts are valued at $14.6 million, but come at no cost to the individual being rescued.

“Our team is ready to go anywhere, any time to help a person in need. The service comes at no cost to the individual being rescued so it’s an expensive exercise and we have to raise millions of dollars per annum, to continue this lifesaving service for our local community.

“Collectively, Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews were in flight for nearly 800 hours last financial year and our rescue crews are ready to respond, 24-hours a day, seven days a week,” Mr Guthrie said.

Event organiser and LifeFlight Board Member Travis Schultz said he was thrilled to surpass the fundraising target with $30,305 raised at the lunch.

“LifeFlight’s community fundraising was significantly affected over the past eighteen months with most third-party events cancelled or postponed due to uncertainty and safety concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to see these events back up and running and thank our generous event sponsors including Mercedes Benz Sunshine Coast, BOQ Maroochydore, Adams + Sparkes Town Planning, Ken Filbey Financial Planning along with All In Good Taste whose generosity helps to keep RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper crews rescue ready,” Mr Schultz said.

Did you know?Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue 2020/21 Mission Statistics

The top five patient injuries and illnesses, for the Sunshine Coast RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter, from July ’20- June ’21:

  • Cardiac (114)
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents (112)
  • Neurological (50)
  • Falls (35)
  • Serious illness/infection (33)