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Press Release

Issued by Heliwest.

June 15, 2012

Heliwest launches new RACQ NQ rescue helicopter

Heliwest is pleased to announce the latest addition to it's fleet of BO105LS Helicopters, providing RACQ NQ rescue with a state of the art NVG capable aircraft to boost its service capibility. The new NQ Rescue chopper has arrived in Mt Isa, easy to spot in yellow and blue RACQ livery and with upgraded features for swifter rescues and on-the-spot medical assistance.

NQ Rescue has been able to upgrade to a 24/7 service and lease this new, improved chopper with capacity to carry a paramedic due to a $750,000 contribution from RACQ over three years.

Welcoming the arrival of the new chopper, RACQ's Executive General Manager Advocacy Paul Turner said the NQ Rescue team would now be able to fly further and faster throughout the 500,000sq km region it was tasked to cover. "The NQ Rescue team do a fantastic job but now – with this new chopper – they will have the capability to find people more quickly and deliver immediate medical assistance," Mr Turner said.

"People living in this region – which covers 23 percent of the state – now have a new mantle of safety protecting them wherever they are – on the roadside, at a mine site, or on a remote property."

NQ Rescue covers an area that stretches from Mornington Island in the north to Birdsville in the south, Richmond in the east and across the Northern Territory border to the west.

RACQ NQ Rescue CEO, Alex Dorr, said the new helicopter had been designed and built specifically for emergency service operations, with a medical fit-out that met Queensland Ambulance requirements.

"It's very significant for us to take delivery of our permanent, full-time aircraft," Mr Dorr said. "The aircraft is an all round upgrade on our previous one and the engines have more power so we can fly further and fly faster."

Mr Dorr said the new chopper had a full glass cockpit with night vision goggle capability and a homer that allowed them to find 406 EPIRBS - emergency position indicating radio beacons.

"This allows us to hone in on the exact location of the stranded or lost person, instead of having to spend large amounts of time searching for them," he said. "It is the only aircraft in the region equipped with a homer."