South Australia’s number one television network has joined forces with Australia’s most reputable charity and announced a major sponsorship of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations (serving SA/NT).
In recognition of its support, a RFDS ‘flying intensive care unit’ bearing the Channel 7 NEWS logo was unveiled at the RFDS Adelaide Base by Mr Kerry Stokes AC, Chairman of Seven West Media.
The medically-equipped aircraft, VH-FXZ (Foxtrot-X-ray-Zulu), is one of nine RFDS aircraft located in South Australia – one of 75 Flying Doctor aircraft across the country – which help the service deliver emergency aeromedical and essential primary health care to more than 300,000 Australians across the country every year.
Mr Stokes said he was thrilled to see the Channel 7 NEWS brand proudly displayed on the RFDS flying intensive care unit.
“The RFDS has saved lives in Australia for more than 90 years. The organisation airlifts 25 patients every day in South Australia and the Northern Territory alone,” Mr Stokes said at the unveiling.
“Our board and staff are just so proud to support a service that provides vital support to Australians,” Mr Stokes said. (Pictured with Loretta Reynolds, Chairman, RFDS Central Operations)
Channel 7 Adelaide has been a media supporter of RFDS Central Operations for several years, with its Weekend Newsreader Jessica Adamson a longstanding Ambassador of the life-saving service.
RFDS Central Operations Chairman, Ms Loretta Reynolds, says Channel 7 Adelaide’s heightened level of ‘major’ support will ensure the RFDS continues to provide universal access to the finest health care to those who live, work and travel in rural and remote Australia.
“The RFDS relies on bequests, corporate partnerships and donations to bridge the gap in our operational funding and to finance our capital-raising for the purchase of our aircraft, medical equipment and infrastructure upgrades,” Ms Reynolds says.
“The continued support from the entire community – our ‘ground crew’ of donors, community fundraisers, corporate sponsors and volunteers – is critical to us meeting our financial challenges, and we’re delighted to have Channel 7 Adelaide increase its tangible support to major sponsorship.”
(Pictured: Loretta Reynolds, Chairman, RFDS Central Operations; Kerry Stokes AC, Chairman, Seven West Media; Christine Simpson-Stokes, Jessica Adamson, Channel 7; and Tony Vaughan ASM, Chief Executive, RFDS Central Operations).
VH-FXZ or ‘Zulu’ as it is known to crews, commenced aeromedical service in late 2018. Its first task was the primary evacuation of a female tourist suffering chest pains from Marree on the Birdsville Track.
Zulu has since been tasked to airlift at least two injured and critically-ill patients every day throughout South Australia, from major regional centres such as Mt Gambier, Renmark and Port Lincoln, to outback locations as diverse as Coober Pedy, the Strzelecki and the Nullarbor Plain.
It has also transported patients’ interstate for specialist treatment; its first mission was the transfer of a newborn baby from Adelaide to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital for life-saving heart surgery.
For the next decade VH-FXZ will continue to assist members of the community, delivering services ranging from the:
- emergency evacuation of the injured or critically-ill from outback communities;
- aeromedical transfer of patients interstate for live-saving surgery such as organ transplant and heart surgery on newborn babies;
- delivery of essential primary health care such as GP consultations and immunisation of children during ‘fly-in’ health clinics to remote communities; and
- transfer of patients from regional and bush hospitals to major hospitals in Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin for higher levels of care.