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RACQ Care-Flight Rescue latest recipient of CYCA SOLAS Trusts grant

by Jennifer Crooks on 28 Oct 2013
David Donaldson, Executive Director - Flight Operations – Community for CareFlight Group Queensland, receives the cheque from CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen at the CYCA SOLAS Trusts fundraising dinner held last Friday evening. CYCA Staff .
CYCA SOLAS Trusts has provided RACQ Care-Flight Rescue with $34,000 to purchase and install two Flight cell DZMx flight tracking systems, which will improve the service’s search capabilities.

The additional equipment means the two helicopters can be tracked using GPS technology, which improves safety for the crew on board and provides enhanced coordination during a search. Emergency services can monitor the area being searched by the Care-Flight helicopter and direct other air, ground or sea assets into different zones.

'Last year RACQ Care-Flight Rescue helicopters conducted more than 140 search and rescue missions across land and sea,' Ash van de Velde, Care-Flight Chief Executive Officer, said.

'The equipment will provide crews with the ability to track their search paths while allowing tasking agencies to fully oversee the operation.'

An on-board satellite connection will also increase flight communications, overcoming a range of interference and reception difficulties currently encountered from radio and mobile devices.

'It’s these added benefits that will help make a challenging job a whole lot safer. The flight tracking systems had been on our list of enhancements and the hard work of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts has contributed to them becoming a reality,' van de Velde added.

RACQ Care-Flight Rescue operates from Sunshine Coast airport and is a not-for-profit community rescue helicopter service that watches over a region extending 200,000 square kilometres into New South Wales, north to the town of 1770, and from the Coral Sea to the Surat Basin and beyond.

In the past three decades, the organisation has made a difference to the lives of more than 38,000 people, at no direct cost to those people saved.

The service’s iconic blue and yellow helicopters and their team of pilots, air crew, critical care doctors and flight paramedics remain on standby 24 hours a day seven days a week, to save lives and serve the community through the provision of rapid response critical care.

CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen announced the funding: 'We are very pleased to provide RACQ Care-flight Rescue with the grant (of $34,000) for the installation of two flight tracking systems that will improve their flight operations. This equipment is vital to ensure that effective delivery of emergency rescue services in the southern and central Queensland area.

'This grant achieves one of the goals of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts - to actively contribute to key volunteer marine, search and rescue organizations Australia-wide,' Allen said.

The CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The CYCA SOLAS Trusts objectives are to:

• Provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races
• Make donations and provide support to search and rescue organisations
• Foster and fund research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.

Since they were established in 1998 following the loss of life in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race that year, the Trusts have donated more than $884,000 to organisations Australia-wide and the Trusts continues to explore new organisations to support.
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