WHY AN­GEL FLIGHT IS CRU­CIAL TO NORTH BUR­NETT RES­I­DENTS

Ru­ral med­i­cal flight ser­vice is seek­ing lo­cal pi­lots to vol­un­teer

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jack Lawrie Jack.Lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

MED­I­CAL flight ser­vice An­gel Flight is on a drive to re­cruit vol­un­teer pi­lots from ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

For Monto res­i­dent Paul Irvine, the ser­vice could not be more cru­cial.

Be­fore he started us­ing An­gel Flight, Mr Irvine used to drive down to Bris­bane, which took six times as long and was harm­ful for his con­di­tion.

“It takes six hours to drive down to Bris­bane and driv­ing down and back, it usu­ally takes me a few days to get over it,” he said.

“It doesn’t do you any good; it bug­gers you up, you get very tired and haven’t got any go in you at all.”

Mr Irvine lost a lung to car­ci­noid tu­mour can­cer in 2012 and needs reg­u­lar treat­ment at the Royal Bris­bane Hos­pi­tal.

One of only two reg­u­lar users of the ser­vice in Monto, he takes a flight out to the hos­pi­tal from Monto Air­port usu­ally once ev­ery cou­ple of months.

“I started us­ing them around about two years ago,” Mr Irvine said.

“The pilot sup­plies the aero­plane, their own time, the only thing An­gel Flight picks up is the fuel.

“When you hit the ground, they have the driv­ers, called Earth An­gels, who also sup­ply their own time and ev­ery­thing; it’s a fan­tas­tic ser­vice.”

The re­quire­ment for us­ing an An­gel Flight ser­vice is that the pas­sen­ger is ca­pa­ble of get­ting on and off the plane un­der their own power.

An­gel Flight is not an aero-med­i­cal ser­vice; all equip­ment is pro­vided by the pi­lots. There is no med­i­cal equip­ment sup­plied.

Due to a short­age of vol­un­teer pi­lots in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing Monto which has none, An­gel Flight is on a drive to re­cruit vol­un­teers.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TAK­ING OFF: Paul Irvine and An­gel Flight pilot Scott Hutchin­son de­part for Bris­bane.

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