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Rescue chopper reaches milestone

RACQ CQ rescue crewman Justin Craib, pilot Rick Kendall and air crewman Darren Bobin commemorate the service’s 5000th mission.
RACQ CQ rescue crewman Justin Craib, pilot Rick Kendall and air crewman Darren Bobin commemorate the service’s 5000th mission. RACQ CQ Rescue

A MEDICAL milestone was reached on Monday when the RACQ CQ Rescue chopper successfully completed its 5000th mission.

After 16 years of service to the Isaac, Mackay and Whitsunday regions, the call for the historic task came in just before 2pm and the rescue helicopter and its crew

departed Mackay, bound for Hayman Island soon after.

The patient was a man in his 40s suffering from a cardiac-related condition.

He was in a stable condition for transport and the helicopter departed the island at 3.20pm, arriving back at the Mackay Base Hospital at 4pm.

In an interesting twist of fate, the very first RACQ CQ Rescue mission - then known as CQ RESQ - was to Hayman Island.

"The service wasn't even commissioned when the call came in on Tuesday, August 27, 1996, and hospital employees were on site helping to fit out the helicopter with medical equipment," a spokeswoman said.

"A crew climbed on board the helicopter anyway to complete the service's first life-saving mission.

"The patient was a woman who was critically unwell with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy."


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