Legal eagles take off in pursuit of record LifeFlight fundraiser

An eloquence of Brisbane’s best lawyers are planning to again take off to raise funds for Queensland’s legendary LifeFlight rescue helicopter service.

Off the back of last year’s sold out success, Brisbane’s top solicitors and barristers are reuniting for an evening of fine wine and fundraising to ensure Lifeflight has the resources necessary to continue saving lives in Queensland.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s fleet of helicopters last year (2020) saved 1,947 lives across the state – almost 40 missions every week in 2020 – at a cost of more than $48 million.  Each mission is valued at more than $25,000, but comes at no cost to the patient. 

LifeFlight’s Helicopter Operations Director Brian Guthrie said the service relied heavily on funding from Queensland communities and were understandably down significantly last year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The quick response times of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crews meant more than 1,900 lives were saved last year,’’ Mr Guthrie said.

“But, due to uncertainty and safety concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, our community fundraising was badly affected.

“A lot of third party fundraising events, which we had come to rely on, simply couldn’t happen.”

Mr Guthrie said the rescue service was reliant on community fundraising to keep its helicopter crews ready to respond 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.

“Our rescue missions come at no cost to the patient,’’ Mr Guthrie said.

“This is a service like no other, and when you look at the missions we’re responding to – from BBQ explosions, bushwalker rescues, on-farm accidents, snake bites, and motor vehicle accidents, anyone across South East Queensland could one day find themselves needing us.”

The situation has prompted compensation law firm Travis Schultz & Partners and forensic accountancy firm Vincents to host a fundraising event to help keep rescue crews in the air and ready to save more lives.

LifeFlight Foundation Board member and law firm Travis Schultz & Partners managing partner Travis Schultz said there had never been a better time to get behind such an essential service and cause.

“Training the responders, maintaining medical equipment, fuelling the helicopters – these things all cost money – and we need to dig deep so that we can keep this life-saving service in the air, and you never know –  yours could be the next life that’s saved.” Mr Schultz said.

Vincents Director Mark Thompson said the firm committed significant time to a range of clients in the not-for-profit space and understood how challenging it could be to keep them financially healthy. 

“It brings us great joy to be able to provide financial support (whether that be through advice, donations, or indeed both) so these important organisations can focus on the business of supporting others,” Mr Thompson said.

“Nourishing the community is something near and dear to us at Vincents and the people at LifeFlight certainly do just that – providing help to patients in need of urgent medical care. They are one of Australia’s largest air-medical retrieval operations and are responsible for more than 60,000 critical rescue missions over the past 40 years.”

The fundraising event is scheduled to be held at Brisbane’s Calile Hotel, in Fortitude Valley, on the May 27 (2021)

Due to COVID restrictions, only 200 tickets will be available for the event.

RACQ LifeFlight Chairman and former Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge is expected to attend on behalf of the helicopter service.

“We will have an auction of some rare wines and unique experiences to raise more money, but perhaps more importantly, we also need to raise awareness of this unparalleled rescue service,” Mr Schultz said.

“I have acted on behalf of any number of critically injured clients who have needed emergency aeronautical medical care and have benefitted from the LifeFlight service – if I was ever to need help, I’d be reassured by hearing the rotor blades of the LifeFlight crew arriving – so we need to pay it forward and keep them flying.”

EVENT DETAILS:

Date:               Thursday 27 May, 2021

Time:               5.45pm

Venue:            The Calile Hotel, James Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Tickets: $150 pp (+ GST and booking fee). A limited release of tickets will be available mid-April, to register your interest go to: schultzlaw.com.au/events/law-and-wine-27-may/

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