Plane a boost for RFDS

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

His­tory will be made in Broome later this year when the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice in­tro­duces a new plane to the town.

The RFDS will sta­tion a Pi­la­tus PC-24 at its Broome base by the end of the year and be the first in the world to use the plane for aero med­i­cal re­trieval.

The plane will have the ca­pac­ity to carry three stretch­ers and two med­i­cal crews and en­hance ser­vice times for pa­tients.

RFDS WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Re­becca Tomkin­son said the plane would in­crease ef­fi­ciency in the re­gion.

“We will be the very first to use this for aero med­i­cal re­trieval any­where in the world, which is very ex­cit­ing,” she said.

“In­tro­duc­ing this new plane will al­low us to get pa­tients to med­i­cal care faster and re­spond to grow­ing de­mand in the Kim­ber­ley.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to our op­er­a­tions, de­spite ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy and the ca­pa­bil­ity of our pro­fes­sional team.”

Ms Tomkin­son said the plane would be used in ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing PC-12 fleet, which the or­gan­i­sa­tion has used for nearly two decades.

“It is the com­bi­na­tion of the two types of air­craft that is very im­por­tant, as the ca­pa­bil­ity be­tween them will en­sure we cater to pa­tients’ needs in the best way pos­si­ble,” she said.

“There is still an im­por­tant place for the PC-12s, which we con­sider the work­horse of the air­line in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly in aero med­i­cal re­trieval work.”

The Broome PC-24 jet will be one of two im­ported by the RFDS, with the only other one based in Perth.

Ms Tomkin­son said this high­lighted the role the Kim­ber­ley plays in RFDS WA op­er­a­tions.

“More than 25 per cent of work that we do in the State comes out of the Kim­ber­ley,” she said.

“We help out about 33 peo­ple each week in the re­gion, in­clud­ing around six chil­dren.

“The Broome base is a very ac­tive base for us and it still con­tin­ues to grow and this new air­craft will help us to de­liver the best ser­vice we can for the Kim­ber­ley.”

The Broome RFDS base is the only one in the Kim­ber­ley, af­ter the Derby branch was closed last year.

The fa­cil­ity was launched in 2016 and is lo­cated at Broome In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­lies on cor­po­rate part­ners, the busi­ness com­mu­nity and phi­lan­thropy for fund­ing.

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Re­becca Tomkin­son said the Broome Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice base would be bet­ter served with the new plane.

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