sam bruce works on place apprentice engineer

From patient to RFDS apprentice engineer

Date published

06 Aug 2021

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) provides aeromedical transfers for thousands of Queenslanders every year, but on the ground, there are many hands that work hard to maintain our aircraft.

For Sam Bruce, his love for aircraft began after watching the movie Top Gun with his dad as a child.

Now Sam’s dream has become a reality and the Townsville-based aircraft enthusiast is currently completing his fourth year of an RFDS Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship.

Sam said there was a lot to love about the role, such as “witnessing the many patient transfers that happen daily in Townsville and knowing they are either going to hospital so they can receive treatment or are travelling home after treatment”.

“This is especially prevalent when they use the neo crib as I myself used it 23 years ago.”

As a baby, Sam suffered a brain bleed and was flown from Bundaberg to Brisbane by the RFDS. For him, it’s been a humbling experience working for an organisation which saved his life as a child. Sam moved to Townsville for the job which he says has given him great hands-on experience.

“There’s a variety of maintenance performed at this base which is good experience for my career,” Sam said.

“It’s been challenging at times, but the knowledge and training I’m receiving from the engineering staff here in Townsville and the department as a whole, have made my experience an enjoyable and educational one so far.”

Sam in first year of apprentice near plane

Sam's position is one of three across the state supported by Ergon Energy Retail and its customers.

Ergon Energy Retail Executive General Manager Ayesha Razzaq said Queenslanders had donated more than $16 million through their energy bills to the RFDS.

“We're so proud to have seen Sam flourish in his role over the past three years,” Ms Razzaq said.

“He’s put in a lot of commitment and energy into his apprenticeship and we’re so excited to see what he achieves in the future.

“Of course, we cannot thank our customers enough for making these opportunities possible through their generous donations.”

Sam’s role is one of the many vital jobs that enables the RFDS (Queensland Section) to provide more than 190 occasions of care each and every day.

Learn how Ergon Energy Retail supports the RFDS (Queensland Section).