Funding allows medical aviation centre, new hangar
THE Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service was flying high yesterday after the Federal Government committed $2.344million to the organisation.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry yesterday announced the service was successful in the second round of the Federal Government's National Stronger Regions Fund, which also saw Rockhampton and Livingstone councils win their funding submissions.
Capricorn Helicopter Rescue CEO Mark Fewtrell said the money would go towards a new two-bay hangar to replace the current 18-year-old one, and a medical aviation centre.
The CEO said the centre would ultimately save lives.
"It means a quicker response time for patients... currently paramedics and doctors are located off-site and have to respond to the hangar when there is a call," he said.
"This will allow them to be on-site and able to be dispatched a lot earlier."
Mr Fewtrell said the organisation was keen to "move in" once construction was finished in about 18 months' time; with an additional 18 new full-time staff members.
Ms Landry said the funding would help the operation of the service, which had traditionally been funded privately through individuals and organisations.
"They have really outgrown their current facility so this is something we have spoken to Mark about over the last two months," she said.
"This is something we have really pushed hard on... there were 150 other federal electorates, 500 applications put in, and only 104 were successful.
"It is going to be great for the patients; it's going to be great for the staff."