LifeFlight has officially joined the list of ‘Queensland Greats’ after receiving a prestigious award at a ceremony in Brisbane.

LifeFlight Chair Hon. Jim Elder was presented the Queensland Greats Institution Award by Premier Steven Miles at a gala dinner at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, to coincide with Queensland Day.

The annual Queensland Greats Awards began in 2001 to recognize extraordinary individuals and institutions that have made a meaningful contribution to Queensland.

“Every 70 minutes, LifeFlight rescues a seriously ill or injured Queenslander thanks to the dedication of more than 500 highly skilled critical care doctors, nurses, paramedics, engineers, aviation and medical training experts, coordination specialists and administrators,” Mr Elder said. “Under the leadership and guidance of Retrieval Services Queensland, LifeFlight’s rescue helicopters perform a vital retrieval and rescue function in Queensland – connecting all Queenslanders to world-class, life-saving care. We’re incredibly grateful to the Queensland Government and our partners who have worked beside us on this journey.”

LifeFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde OAM, who started with the organization as a volunteer aircrewman in 1981, said the award was an acknowledgment of LifeFlight as a Queensland success story.

“As a not-for-profit dedicated to the patient, we are immensely proud to be recognized as a Queensland Great and humbled to accept this award on behalf of everyone who has been on this incredible journey with us,” he said.

“We proudly accept this award on behalf of the 90,000 people helped since LifeFlight first took to the skies with a single rescue helicopter 45 years ago. My sincere thanks and congratulations must also go to our team for decades of outstanding aeromedical service.”

In the past year LifeFlight helped close to 7,500 people with its advanced fleet of helicopters, ambulance jets and highly trained aeromedical teams.

LifeFlight’s fleet of four Air Ambulance jets and 16 helicopters service Queensland, other states in Australia and abroad. LifeFlight also supports search and rescue efforts across 53 million square kilometres of land and sea for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.