TIO and CareFlight have announced a partnership to support a life-saving community service in Darwin today.
TIO will sponsor CareFlight’s Darwin based Rescue Helicopter for a minimum of three years.
TIO Chief Executive Richard Harding said the cost of road trauma in the Territory is more than triple the national average and rapid response was key to survival and to minimise injury.
“Evidence shows the severity of injury can be lessened by reducing the time it takes emergency medical services to start treating injured people,” Mr Harding said.
“Rapid medical intervention, particularly for people with internal, spinal or head injuries, can save lives and reduce the risk of catastrophic and permanent impairment.
“CareFlight’s rapid response capability supports TIO’s goal for personal injury management and improving health outcomes.
“The work they do further supports our understanding of the unique challenges created by great distance and remoteness for communities in the Top End.”
Mr Harding said TIO already made a significant investment in road safety awareness and behavioural change programs and the new partnership would complement this work.
“We see this partnership as a way to support the needs of Territorians which will ultimately deliver benefits to the wider motor accidents compensation scheme,” Mr Harding said.
CareFlight Chief Executive Officer Derek Colenbrander said TIO’s sponsorship of the rescue helicopter would help meet the running costs of the rapid-response helicopter service which forms part of the Top End Medical Retrieval Service which CareFlight operates for the NT Health Department.
Mr Colenbrander said the partnership will enable TIO and CareFlight to coordinate with the broader “road trauma” sector to improve outcomes for people involved in motor vehicle crashes.
“The helicopter is an integral component of our charity’s aeromedical service as it allows our flight nurses and doctors to respond direct to motor vehicle crashes and other trauma patients,” Mr Colenbrander said.
“Patients can be stabilised by our medical team working with health clinic nurses and St John Ambulance officers then given intensive care treatment as they are flown direct to Royal Darwin Hospital.”
The helicopter will now be known as the CareFlight TIO Rescue Helicopter.