Qld LNG Industry Launches Aero Medical Service, Australia
A new medical evacuation helicopter has been officially launched by Queensland’s four Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) proponents in Gladstone on Tuesday.
The helicopter will provide a dedicated response to on-site incidents for workers on Curtis Island, off Gladstone, and on mainland LNG project construction.
The joint $30 million funding commitment by Australia Pacific LNG, QGC, Santos GLNG and Arrow Energy will also ensure the industry provides additional aero medical services for Central Queensland.
LNG industry representative and Vice President Santos GLNG, Rod Duke, said the service had been keenly anticipated by the workforce building the LNG projects and by the residents of the wider Gladstone region.
“This is about ensuring the safety of our workforce and giving them the peace of mind that a dedicated medical service helicopter will be ready if needed,” Mr Duke said.
“It’s also about giving the Central Queensland community access to an additional resource that can operate in a 250km radius of Gladstone, as this new service will work with the existing Capricorn Helicopter Service.
“Each of the four companies shares this vision and that’s why we’ve introduced the helicopter for our staff, their families and the wider community.”
The service will be run by CareFlight Group Queensland, which has a proven record in medical retrievals.
Chief Executive Officer of CareFlight Ashley van de Velde said he was honoured to be working alongside the LNG industry in Central Queensland.
“We share the LNG companies’ goal to provide these communities with the best possible support, service and safety,” Mr van de Velde said.
Before its arrival in Gladstone the helicopter was diverted to Bundaberg to help with evacuations during January’s devastating flooding.
The service is contracted for a period of five years. It can provide telemedicine, carry up-to two patients at-atime and has partial search and rescue capability that will be available to Queensland Police.
The LNG industry funds a similar aero medical service in the Surat Basin, which has conducted almost 200 community retrievals since it began in April 2011.
LNG World News Staff, March 19, 2013; Image: QGC