News

Rescue all in a day’s work

A job on Fraser Island after a tobogganing crash.
A job on Fraser Island after a tobogganing crash.

AS AN aircrewman, Jerm Cutelli is responsible for co-ordinating each mission flown by a typical four-man rescue helicopter crew.

He can find himself operating a winch to rescue people out of high seas, flying patients from hospital to hospital or landing on the Bruce Hwy after a serious crash.

Mr Cutelli has spent the past seven years flying with the RACQ CareFlight Rescue service, formally known as the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter.

Based on the Sunshine Coast, Mr Cutelli has flown hundreds of missions to Fraser Island, Hervey Bay Hospital and other emergencies across the Fraser Coast.

He is among the emergency services responders that are called to help the region during a disaster and those the Fraser Coast Chronicle will be profiling this flood season.

Mr Cutelli's days are unpredictable and can have him travelling anywhere from the Fraser Coast to northern New South Wales.

"You just don't know until the phone rings," he said.

"Our hours are set by people's injuries."

Most of their work is made up of transferring patients from regional hospitals to get more specialist care in Brisbane, Mr Cutelli said.

He remembers the rescue of a three-man crew off the racing yacht Ausmaid in 2008 as the most difficult task he has faced in the past seven years.

"It was pelting rain, 40-50 knots, eight metre seas," Mr Cutelli said.

On the Fraser Coast, beachside crashes of tourist-laden four-wheel drives were common until last year.

"We'd get there and there would just be patients everywhere," Mr Cutelli said.

He praised new laws that regulate the number of people allowed in each vehicle for reducing serious crashes on the island.

It takes only 30 minutes for the crew to fly from Sunshine Coast to Fraser Island, so the RACQ helicopter often becomes the first port of call if someone needs to be taken off the island quickly.

The service has flown to the Fraser Coast, including Fraser Island, 60 times since July this year.

In the 2012/13 financial year, the service flew to the Fraser Coast 157 times, including 58 missions to Fraser Island.

There were 13 flood rescues, eight search and rescue missions, 12 traffic crashes and 61 hospital transfers.

These missions become expensive very quickly as the helicopter costs $3500 each hour to run.

Mr Cutelli said a major part of their job was fundraising to cover that cost.

"That is one of our secondary jobs," he said. "We rely heavily on the community."

Visit careflightrescue.com to find out for about the service or to donate.

RACQ CareFlight

Three helicopters are in service across the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg, including a backup. Another three operate from the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

Each mission is tasked with a typical four-man crew which includes a pilot, aircrewman, paramedic and a doctor. If winching is required, a rescue officer can be added to the crew.

Topics:  racq careflight rescue helicopter rescue



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Community reacts to news that Tobruk is coming here

The Tobruk is coming to the Wide Bay.

The Tobruk will be sunk between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.

Uni's newest staff member is a local multi-talented identity

USC Indigenous Services Community Engagement Officer Les Raveneau (right) with students Dimity Shillingsworth and Ashleigh Clarke.

He is the new Indigenous Services Community Engagement Officer.

Horrific scene as driver killed in Gympie crash

The horrific scene on the northern outskirts of Gympie this afternoon.

A middle aged man has been killed in a horrific crash in Gympie

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!