Graphic: RFDS Billboard launched on Yorke Peninsula

Sign of the Times on Yorke Peninsula

Date published

17 Dec 2015

Graphic: billboard unveiling

Yorke Peninsula residents now have a colourful daily reminder of the importance of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to their region.

In a first for the RFDS in South Australia, a new roadside billboard showcasing the close links between the RFDS and the Yorke Peninsula community has been unveiled on the Copper Coast Highway near Paskeville by Copper Coast Mayor Paul Thomas.

"Every day the RFDS conducts more than 15 aeromedical evacuations throughout South Australia and, on average, lands twice a day somewhere on the Yorke Peninsula," says Mayor Thomas.

"Already this calendar year, the RFDS has conducted 295 flights to Kadina, 147 flights to Yorketown, 114 flights to Maitland, 46 flights to Minlaton and landed twice in Ardrossan," he said.

An initiative of the RFDS Copper Coast Support Group and the Copper Coast District Council, the new billboard will be a reminder to the community and to visitors travelling through the region of the significance of the RFDS. Updated monthly, the double-sided billboard will display the number of landings by the RFDS in Kadina and the entire Yorke Peninsula region for the calendar year.

The billboard is also recognition of the generous support the RFDS receives from its volunteers in the region, including the RFDS Copper Coast Support Group and RFDS Southern Yorke Peninsula Support Group, which this year raised $23,000 and $27,000, respectively.

"The Flying Doctor is best known for its retrievals from the outback, which continue today, but the RFDS is equally relevant to those living in our rural communities closer to
Adelaide by providing 24/7 aeromedical evacuations of patients from country hospitals to Adelaide's major hospitals for life-saving and specialist treatment," says Charlie Paterson, General Manager of Marketing & PR, RFDS Central Operations.

President of the RFDS Copper Coast Support Group Louise Price said the unveiling of the billboard was a proud and significant moment for the Yorke Peninsula community and for the volunteers and donors who support the RFDS.

"The RFDS provides a vital service to all South Australians, including those of us living on the Yorke Peninsula, for which we are grateful and proud to provideour support," Mrs Price says.

"We hope that when people drive by this sign they'll think how great it is that we have such a fantastic service saving lives every day, and that our fundraising and donations help to make that happen – at home here on Yorke Peninsula and the outback," she said.

Mr Paterson said thanks were due to Mayor Paul Thomas, Andrew Thomson of A. Thomson & Co Engineering, Paskeville; John Konstandopoulos of Apex Steel Supply Greenfields, Adelaide; Greg Box of Hanson Concrete, Wallaroo; Brian Earle of Earle Signs, Kadina; and the RFDS Copper Coast Support Group for making the installation of the sign possible.

"Operating a fleet of seven aircraft in South Australia alone, the RFDS relies on fundraising and donations from the community to finance the purchase and replacement of its medically-equipped aircraft – at a cost of more than $6 million each," Mr Paterson says.

"Without the enduring support of the community the RFDS cannot keep its crews in the air, and this latest project is just another example of how passionate members of the Yorke Peninsula community rally to help keep the Flying Doctor flying," he said.