Give to RACQ rescue chopper for uplifting feeling

I'VE thought of a great gift each and everyone could give this Christmas.

It's not to a person, but more to a service that we all might need one day. And if we do need it, it will mean things aren't going too well.

The RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service is always struggling for funds to keep its helicopter in the air 365 days a year.

And the service has come up with a great way where we can all help.

It's a bit like an insurance policy in lots of ways - shell out a few bob each week and when you need it the service will be there to help.

The scheme goes like this:

If you are employed, it's a really easy thing to fill in a form, hand it to your employer's payroll department, donating two dollars or more a week to the service and the job's done.

Each week your pay packet will be just a little bit lighter than before but you will have done your bit to help keep a truly important service running.

And if you're not employed, self-employed or otherwise just go to the service website and there is a special donation page.

The general rule is if you can receive specialist treatment within an hour of suffering a major injury, your chances of survival are greatly improved.

In the days before helicopters were used for emergencies it was that time delay of more than one hour that meant people had a much lesser chance of survival.

Of the Capricorn service's $6 million operational budget, just 40% is covered by the government and naming rights sponsor RACQ. The rest comes from community donations and from other sponsors - and that's a lot to find in a community.

About 21% of the helicopter's calls are to the Gladstone region - and the service covers from St Lawrence in the north to Agnes Water in the south, so our folk receive a fair share of help.

But very few Gladstonites actually donate to the service.

I reckon we should all do our bit to make sure it's available to help us if we need it.