Sunday, 25 June 2017

A day at Life Flight

Not long ago the company I work for wanted to donate to a worthy cause so we donate a large sum of money to the Cancer Council. The owner of the our company also wanted all his employee's in all three states to volunteer for day for a non for profit charity. Having a huge love for aviation I contact Life Flight, the Royal Flying Doctors and of course Angel Flight.  I got an email from Life Flight saying they are having a charity fund raising day soon and would I like to volunteer.

Well the rest his history; below is their story of Life Flight and some photos I took during the day.

Who is Life Flight and what do the do..

From humble but significant beginnings, Life Flight was formed as The Gold Coast Helicopter Rescue in 1981 by handful of dedicated surf lifesaving volunteers who had a burning passion for helping people in need. Fast forward 35 years, Life Flight can proudly say it has saved thousands of lives and evolved into one of the largest and most sophisticated aeromedical services in the world.

Life Flight is now a world leader in aeromedical care and Australia's most diversified service with both a fixed wing and rotary fleet. They help seriously ill and injured patients around Australia and the world to quickly get the medical care they need. From rapid response, to inter-facility transfers our team of more than 400 staff members, including aviation crew, support staff, and over 100 doctors are a lifeline to vulnerable individuals.
Across Australia Life Flight doctors attend to more than 10 patients a day.
As a leading Australian charity they operate 13 rescue helicopters and three air ambulance jets across 12 locations. Eight of these are Life Flight’s own aeromedical bases. Life Flight also assists Retrieval Services Queensland with doctors, when required, on fixed wing aeromedical services, including inter-hospital patient transfers performed by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to and from regional centres such as Brisbane, Bundaberg and Townsville.
Their staff are specially trained in pre-hospital retrieval medicine through our internationally recognised training academy.
Life Flight has flown 45,000 critical rescue missions over the past 36 years.

I arrived at their Archerfield base around 8.30 and met Jessica the coordinator, Jess showed me around the hanger and filled me in on Life Flight.

After a quick briefing of my duties I took the time to grab some photos before the other volunteers arrived.





BELL 412 VH-XCN (CN 36023)


BELL 412EP VH-XCK (CN 36398)


Once I was done the other volunteers had arrived so we went outside and set up marquees for face painting and hair braiding, a merchandise stall and an area where child could colour in or write messages for the doctors, nurses and pilots. There was also a BBQ were you could buy a sausage and drinks.

Life Flights mascot is a giant bear which, along with many other items, you can purchase and I can tell you the bear is cute and cuddly.

There was also a special appearance by the real "Chief" Life Flights bear mascot; it was my job to escort Chief around safely greeting the children. Then we had to swap over... and guess who was in it next... yep, yours truly. If you want to loose weight quickly put on a bear suit. Even though it was hot, stuffy and hard to breath it was well worth it as the children loved him and came running up for high fives and hugs.. some were a little shy and just wanted to watch from the safe distance of mum and dad's arms.

Back inside there was another merchandise table with bears, soft helicopters, hats, T-shirts and even a pen set; there was also a display of parts the helicopters need to keep them in the air.

There was a flight simulator which I manned for the rest of the afternoon; for $5.00 you could fly it for 5 minutes and it was really popular

There was even a wall with some amazing real stories of rescues the crew have done over time.

If you want to have a look around the hanger and get closer to the Life Flight helicopters; Life Flight do hanger tours.

A tour of the hanger includes an informative, guided tour of the facility, insights from the engineer on shift and a photo opportunity with the aircraft (subject to availability based on rescue missions and tasks). Make the most of your time at the hangar and compliment your tour with a morning or afternoon tea.
Hangar tours are available for $10.00 per person, morning/afternoon tea will be provided for an additional $5.00 per person.
Hangar tours run for approximately 45–60 minutes, guests who would like to add a morning or afternoon tea to their tour are invited to stay for a further 30 minutes.
All funds raised from the hangar tours helps to support Life Flight to continue to provide rapid medical response care to the community.
Life Flight offers hangar tours on weekdays (Monday to Friday) at the following bases:
Archerfield Airport
Hangar 6, Grenier Drive
Archerfield QLD 4108
Telephone: 5553 5946
Group size = Min 5 people, maximum of 15

It was a great day, a long day, but I really enjoyed helping out a great worthy charity.
If you would like to volunteer or just donate you can do so here

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