Graphic: Grant Roberts
Grant Roberts lives on Pulgamurtie station near Shannon’s Creek. His family have lived and worked on the land since 1888.
“The RFDS is part of our community. We’ve called the Flying Doctor for help on many occasions. My wife and my kids have all been flown out,” Grant says.
Grant's 14-year-old daughter Grace attends boarding school in Adelaide, but she loves visiting her dad at their country homestead just out of Broken Hill during the school holidays.
Working as a rural cattle producer, life on the land can be tough on the body. Over the years there have been airlifts and callouts for almost every family member.
“I remember when my dad cut his arm really deeply with barbed wire,” Grant remembers.
“I held the torch for two hours while they put 17 stitches in his arm on the Packsaddle airstrip."
So far every emergency has happened in the darkness of night. “Everything happens at midnight,” Grant laughs.
Whenever there is an emergency Flying Doctor call out to his community, Grant helps the plane land by helping to close the Silver City highway so it can be used as an emergency airstrip.
“We are the closest station to the emergency airstrip. It would be a bit rough if you didn’t learn how to do it.
“The Flying Doctor is important to us so we always want to be there to help them out if we can.”