A NEW helicopter medivac service based in Moomba, will be used to deliver critically-ill patients to the Royal Flying Doctor Service at the nearest available airstrip.

The Cooper Medivac 24 helicopter is jointly funded by oil and gas companies Senex Energy and Drillsearch Energy, operating in the Cooper basin in the heart of Australia’s outback with the aim of improving safety for all the people who live, work and travel in the region.

Equipped with night vision capabilities, the Cooper Medivac 24 can fly both day and night, weather permitting.

The service complements and enhances the existing 24/7 emergency response capabilities of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and was developed in consultation with the aeromedical service.

Operated by Heliwest, Cooper Medivac 24 is proving to be a valuable service for the local community and has already been called out twice to respond to recent medical emergencies.

In one case, Cooper Medivac 24 airlifted a victim of a motorbike accident in the Simpson Desert to paramedics in Birdsville within five hours, and connected with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Without the helicopter, the same task would have required a lengthy round-trip in a 4WD ambulance, travelling at night over rough terrain.