THE Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter has experienced another increase in missions in the past year, recording 498 aero-medical retrievals and 65 road retrievals.
In the past two years helicopter missions in the ACT and Southern NSW have soared by 25%, with 498 completed last year and 372 missions performed in 2011 – an increase of 126 missions.
In 2013 the most frequent destination for the helicopter was the NSW South Coast, from Ulladulla to Eden 191 missions were performed. The helicopter also completed 106 call outs to its Northern Region, including Goulburn, Yass and Young.
Snowy Hydro SouthCare responds to three types of missions. In primary missions trained crews fly directly to the scene of an accident and transport patient(s) to major hospitals.
Secondary missions involve the transport of patients who need urgent specialised services between hospitals.
The helicopter also performs non-medical retrievals including search and rescue operations and disaster relief.
On board each flight or road retrieval is a highly skilled and trained medical team including a Doctor from the Capital Region Retrieval Service (The Canberra Hospital), and Intensive Care Paramedic from the ACT Ambulance Service.
In times of poor weather and scheduled maintenance Road Ambulance retrievals with Snowy Hydro SouthCare medical crew are completed between hospitals.
A large portion of these road retrievals are within the ACT, transferring patients between Calvary, John James and The Canberra Hospital. During the transfer of patients Doctors are required to keep the patient in a stable condition.
Last year the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Helicopter Base was set up as a Hub for the ‘Telehealth System’. This system allows medical staff at Moruya, Queanbeyan, Cooma and Batemans Bay to have video consultations with Snowy Hydro SouthCare Doctors.
Since the system was introduced, 23 consultations have taken place allowing the region medical service greater access to higher level health care, and in some cases reducing the requirement of the helicopter.
There are plans for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Hub site to be extended to Calvary Hospital, and other regional hospitals including Bega, Goulburn and Yass at the end of next month.
Snowy Hydro SouthCare could not exist without the generous and ongoing support from its major naming rights partner, Snowy Hydro Limited, sponsors, community and service partners and donors.
“With increasing demand for the service each year, it reinforces the need for ongoing support and funding,” Snowy Hydro SouthCare CEO, Mr Owen Finegan says.
“We are extremely grateful to the community and corporate partners who have helped fund flights and equipment, keeping Snowy Hydro SouthCare in the air saving lives.”