Careflight's move to Brisbane not a burden on Westpac

THE relocation of Queensland's government-funded rescue helicopter Careflight from the Gold Coast to Brisbane has had little impact on the workload of the Lismore-based Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, crew have said.

Acting Crew Chief Michael Kerry said the Gold Coast was still being covered by the Queensland rescue helicopter services, while the Westpac Helicopter service continued to focus on New South Wales.

"Careflight were predominantly a back-up when we were either tied up on other tasks," he said.

"So as far as the number of jobs in that regard, we're probably doing about the same.

"The jobs over the border are still being handled by south-east Queensland helicopters out of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast."

Mr Kerry said there was good communication between the helicopter services across both states, and if one crew were tied up with a job, the next closest available service would assist, even if it was across the border.

He said the only difference the move made was that the distance was now the same between the Brisbane-based Careflight and the Lismore-based Westpac for responding to jobs in the northern NSW corner.

"It hasn't had a great effect, but there move north to Brisbane does mean there is a bit of a gap in the northern corner," he said.

"There's unfortunately been a couple of jobs in and around Fingal of drownings in the last 12 months where we've been heavily involved but I'm not sure if that's any relation to Careflight being in Brisbane or if we would have just done those jobs anyway.

"It really hasn't dramatically increased our workload."

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