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Rescue chopper records busiest year yet in Townsville


Townsville's rescue chopper has record its busiest year yet with calls for help almost doubling.

The LifeFlight crew airlifted 350 people to medical care in both Australia and overseas last year - that is twice as many when compared with 2019.

Commercial director Tim McGuire says the figures show just how important the service is to the community.

"We continue to see a significant increase in activity for our Townsville jet operation," Mr McGuire says.

"In 2019, we saw 233 people helped by the service, and in the past year we've seen that figure jump to 341."

The rescue service is also expanding its response capabilities, adding three Challenger 604 aircrafts to its fleet.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Pilot Anthony McKenna says these new jets are imperative for immediate emergency deployment in Australia.

"The aircraft can fly to regional areas across Queensland and bring those people who may need a higher level of medical care, to the major centres such as Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Brisbane," Mr McKenna says.

Last year, Townsville's LifeFlight crews were part of a mission to airlift workers who were injured in an explosion at a Moranbah mine - it is a task Mr McKenna says makes the job worth it.

“It means a lot to us in Townsville, to provide this service and to know that we are making a difference, helping save and change lives,” he says.