The Flying Doctor is calling for nominations for the inaugural RFDS Local Hero Awards, to thank and acknowledge those outstanding individuals who tirelessly and selflessly support the work of the service in their region.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) CEO Nino Di Marco said the RFDS is grateful for the wonderful community members and volunteers across Queensland who work "behind the scenes" to support the work of the Flying Doctor teams, so they can provide vital aeromedical services from nine operational bases in Queensland.
"The inspiration for these awards came from the actions of a community member last year who used her first aid skills to help save the life of a patient.
"The incident happened late one afternoon, when our Mount Isa team was called to respond to an incident at Adel's Grove involving a man who collapsed at the camp ground. As our night crew prepared for an immediate departure, our on-duty doctor provided advice over the phone as CPR was administered with defibrillation, by Adel's Grove Manager Michelle Low Mow, with the help of two nurses visiting the camp site. Fortunately the patient responded well and was transferred by the RFDS to Townsville Hospital.
Dr Don Bowley, Senior Medical Officer at the RFDS Mount Isa Base, said it was community minded people like Michelle who should be commended for keeping their first aid skills up to date and not hesitating to assist when required.
Michelle Low Mow said she was just doing what anyone would do in that situation.
"I had recently refreshed my resuscitation skills so I knew what to do, and put it all into place," she said.
"I was just as surprised and delighted as anyone to see how well the patient has recovered."
As well as aeromedical transfers, last year the RFDS delivered more than 95,000 patient consultations across aeromedical, tele-health and primary health care programs.
Nominations are encouraged from community members who have helped the RFDS in some way, whether it is maintaining remote airstrips, making blankets and teddies for premature babies, supporting our community clinics, fundraising, looking after our community medical chests or assisting at the scene of an emergency.
The RFDS Local Hero Awards are proudly supported by Ergon Energy Retail whose customers and employees have been supporting the work of the Flying Doctor in Queensland for over fifteen years.
Acting Executive General Manager Ergon Energy Retail, Tony Pfeiffer said the business was proud to recognize the outstanding efforts of regional Queenslanders by supporting the awards.
"Ergon Energy Retail and its customers have proudly supported the Royal Flying Doctor Service for the past 15 years and helped to raise $10 million towards essential equipment," Mr Pfeiffer said.
"The Royal Flying Doctor Service is a lifeline for regional communities and Ergon Energy Retail is proud to support their work and to celebrate the efforts of the fantastic people who volunteer their time through these local hero awards."
Award nominations are open from 1 March to 1 April, 2016 can be made online by visiting www.flyingdoctor.org.au/qld/localhero or by obtaining an entry form at their closet RFDS Base.
Nominees can include individuals or families, while posthumous awards and self-nominations will also be considered.
Award recipients will be notified on 26 April, 2016 and announced at a morning tea on Flying Doctor Day, Tuesday May 17, 2016 at their local RFDS Base.
For further information and the selection criteria please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0407 595 014.