8-May-2012 Source: Queensland Government
The Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) Helicopter Rescue service will receive a boost to its frontline operational capabilities including faster response times with todayâ€™s opening of its new $1.6 million hangar at Archerfield Airport.
Community Safety Minister, Jack Dempsey said the new hangar, which connects to the existing hangar at Archerfield by a taxiway, will provide more space for the operational side of the helicopter rescue business including housing paramedics fulltime at the facility.
â€œThis new hangar will ensure our EMQ Helicopter Rescue crews continue to have the best facilities in order to deliver this vital and essential frontline service to the community,â€ Mr Dempsey said.
â€œThe new facility also has accommodation for flight paramedics who once had to drive in from nearby ambulance stations before joining the chopper crew.
â€œHaving paramedics at the new hangar fulltime will facilitate quicker response times by allowing the chopper to get in the air faster.
â€œThe EMQ helicopters log around 3,500 hours of flying time across Queensland each year; of which 1,200 are performed by our Brisbane crews.
â€œKeeping these helicopters in the air is an incredible feat made possible by the dedication and expertise of the pilots and crews, maintenance teams, engineers and other supporting staff on the ground.
â€œThese operations are also enhanced by the help of key supporters such as Rio Tinto, with their $10 million, 10-year sponsorship of the EMQ Helicopter Rescue Service.â€
Mr Dempsey said the rescue helicopter crews respond to hundreds of jobs each year.
â€œThese includes search and rescue operations, air evacuations of critically ill patients, transporting medical teams to accident scenes, transferring patients between hospitals, evacuating people in times of disaster and resupplying communities isolated by natural disasters,â€ he said.
â€œThe new hanger will house the operational component of the Brisbane base, while the maintenance facility and management team would remain in the existing hangar.
â€œEMQ Helicopter Rescue, which operates out of Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane, is committed to safeguarding the welfare of Queenslanders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and this new hanger will only enhance those operations.â€
For further information, seeÂ www.emergency.qld.gov.au/aviation