The RACQ-CQ Rescue Helicopter Service (CQ Rescue) has flown over 6500 missions from their Mackay Airport base in the Mackay, Isaac, and Whitsunday regions since it was established in 1996. During their 20 years of vital service, CQ Rescue is credited with having saved countless lives, and improved the outcomes for many of its patients. Some of the tasks the service attends can be intense, with the crews dealing with the trauma of road accidents and search and rescues.
Over the last week, CQ Rescue has launched their Annual Appeal which is one of their major community fundraising events held during the year. We at the CQ Plane Spotting Blog often see a CQ Rescue helicopter over our home in Clermont and urge you to give generously to keep this vital community-funded helicopter in the air and flying to the rescue in a time of crisis. CQ Rescue has been saving lives across this region for 20 years and by donating to a local charity, your money stays right in the CQ region. If you live in Mackay, you'll most likely see it flying overhead almost every day. Help them be your lifeline. Donate today. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. You never know when you or someone you love will need them!
Meanwhile, I was recently able to take a closer look inside the CQ Rescue hangar on Mike Jones Street on the Western side of Mackay Airport, as well as being able to photograph their main helicopter - Bell 412EP VH-CQJ "Rescue 412" - as it rested in the morning sun.
VH-CQJ is operated by Australian Helicopters who was selected in 2013 as the new helicopter provider to support both CQ Rescue and the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS), based at Rockhampton Airport, to assist with emergency response on behalf of Queensland Health.
The operational 'spare' helicopter for both CQ Rescue and Cap Rescue was also in the CQ Rescue hangar in the form Bell 412 VH-LSY. The chopper is often utilised by CQ Rescue and is often noted flying medical retrieval flight using the radio callsign of "Rescue 422".
I also was given a closer look at CQ Rescue's state-of-the-art static winch training simulator which was installed inside their hangar in 2015. It is the first emergency rescue helicopter winch simulator of its kind in Queensland. The static winch training simulator has the potential to save CQ Rescue thousands of dollars in training costs annually by reducing the requirement to launch the helicopter for training. The highly experienced rescue crew are required to conduct over 50 hours of winch training each year meaning the helicopter generates additional flying hours at a significant cost to the organisation. The static winch training simulator emulates the design of the Bell 412 helicopter including sliding door panel and skids providing an authentic training environment for life-saving winch operations. Installation of the simulator was made possible thanks to generous grants from local mines and donors.
Finally, one of the more 'fun' fundraising events is again set to take place in October this year with 'Rescue Chopper Week' set to also help raise much-needed funds in support of the CQ Rescue Service. If you belong to a school, organisation or group – or maybe start your own fundraising group – you can become involved in a number of ways including holding a morning tea, a BBQ or by having a 'blue and yellow' dress-up day to show your support for the CQ Rescue chopper!
The RACQ-CQ Rescue Helicopter service is a valuable service that serves a vast area of Central Queensland. Donations are welcomed all year round. For more details on their Annual Appeal or on Rescue Chopper Day, please visit the CQ Rescue website (http://www.cqrescue.com.au/) for details.
Our sincere thanks to Martin for his gracious assistance in allowing the CQ Plane Spotting to come have a look through the CQ Rescue hangar. We would like to sincerely thank everyone at CQ Rescue for the valuable service they provide and wish them all the very best for the future!