South Australia’s Cooper Basin has a new flying medical service, funded by Senex Energy and Drillsearch Energy.
The two oil and gas producers have set up Cooper Medivac 24, a night-vision equipped helicopter which will provide a vital medical transport service for delivering critically ill patients from remote areas to the nearest airstrip accessible by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Night-vision goggles for the pilots enables the helicopter to fly day or night.
Operated by Heliwest and based in Moomba, the service was developed in consultation with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and will complement their capabilities.
The Cooper Medivac 24 service was launched at the mining township of Innamincka, during the weekend of the Innamincka Races, when the town’s ordinary population of 12 swells to around 400.
Despite the recent launch, the service has already proven invaluable on two separate occasions, one of which involved airlifting the victim of a motorbike accident in the Simpson Desert to paramedics in Birdsville within five hours, and connecting with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
According to Senex and Drillsearch, without the helicopter the same task would have required a lengthy round-trip in a 4WD ambulance, travelling at night over rough terrain.
Drillsearch Managing Director Brad Lingo said they had a duty of care to their people working in the field, as well as a broader role in the Cooper Basin community.
“So we think this is an important initiative to be involved with,” he said.
Senex Managing Director Ian Davies said “Cooper Medivac 24 is simply the right thing to do.”
“By saving time, we can save lives.”
Drillsearch Acting Chief Operating Officer David Evans and Senex Executive General Manager Safety, People and Systems Gary Proctor