QUEENSLAND'S four RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters have been forced to fly almost four missions a day over the summer school holidays, with crews on the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba particularly busy.
Its four crews -- in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, and on the Sunshine and Gold coasts -- notched up 159 lifesaving missions throughout southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.
The teams are permanently on call.
CareFlight chief Ashley van de Velde said Toowoomba was the busiest with 60 missions, while the Sunshine Coast crew was called to 54 rescues from December 13 to January 26.
Although the Gold Coast crew took on fewer rescues over the same period, many of these involved newborns.
"It's not really the number of missions, but the type of missions we fly," Mr van de Velde said.
"For instance the Gold Coast flew 17 missions over this holiday period, but 11 of these involved new born babies and children - delicate tasks which can take anywhere from six to eight hours to complete.
"Bundaberg flew 28 missions over the holidays and these included a roof fall, a truck driver with serious head injuries and a near drowning."
The helicopter rescue service is a not-for-profit group that relies on community support.
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