Rural safety new focus for partners

1 March 2017

New Hope Group and LifeFlight have entered into a new partnership project aimed at improving rural health and safety in farming communities around New Acland Mine.

The two-year project will focus on boosting education and awareness around rural safety practices and fostering a better understanding of common rural incidents.

New Acland General Manager David Vink said he was surprised to learn that in the previous financial year LifeFlight rescued 31 people from farms in the Oakey area and that while this statistic included both medical emergencies and serious accidents there seems to remain a real need for information. “This project gives the local community as well as those involved with the mine an opportunity to learn from LifeFlight’s expertise in rural safety and will help to deliver safer outcomes for local farming operations.”

“Safety is the mining industry and New Hope’s number one priority and a core value of the Company so we’re really passionate about bringing this project to the local communities around New Acland Mine.” David said.

“LifeFlight is best known for responding to medical emergencies but its staff, as do our staff, have a great deal of knowledge about preventing injury and what to do in an emergency to lessen the severity of injuries when they do occur.  

“The part of the project we’re most looking forward to is bringing together different parts of our community to talk about best practice and how we can learn about rural health and safety from each other.”

LifeFlight’s Toowoomba Base Manager Andrew Riches said LifeFlight had been responding to rural medical emergencies on the Downs and in the South-West for the past 10 years giving them an excellent understanding of the most common incidents in the area.

“Our mission is to save lives and serve the community and we believe this project will provide education on the issues that affect these communities most,” Andrew said.

“The project will deliver five safety education workshops on topic areas like machinery and equipment, animal safety and vehicle and motorbike safety.

“Many of the incidents we respond to could have less serious consequences or could be prevented so this project is a great opportunity to start conversations in our community about how to keep ourselves, and the people around us, safe.”

In addition to the rural health and safety project, the New Hope partnership will also provide financial support to LifeFlight’s air-medical service to ensure the local rural community has access to a high level of care in emergency situations.