A gift from the heart

Date published

01 Sep 2020

The Flying Doctor recently visited Kangaroo Island to give back to a community in recovery from this summer's devastating bushfires.


More than 200,000 hectares were destroyed when bushfires enveloped the region in December and January, marking the largest bushfire event in Kangaroo Island's recorded history.

RFDS Central Operations donated five Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to National Parks Wildlife Service South Australia for distribution across isolated areas of the island.

AEDs are designed for use by first responders with little or no medical training. Applied to a patient, the AED automatically delivers an electrical current through the chest to shock the heart into a normal rhythm.

Two AEDs are intended as replacements for devices at Flinders Chase National Park and Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park - both areas ravaged by the fires in January. 

Before the bushfires, 140,000 people per year visited Flinders Chase National Park. While beautiful, the park is also remote - approximately a 75 minute drive away from emergency services support. 

The other donated units will be housed at Cape Willoughby Conservation Park, around Remarkable Rocks and at Cape Borda Light Station - the first such devices at these location.

Emergency medical equipment, such as AEDs, located at popular wilderness locations provide a level of assurance for both locals and visitors alike, while supporting the recovery of Kangaroo Island as a tourist destination.

The Flying Doctor lands on Kangaroo Island at least three times a week, providing a live-saving service for the island's 4500-strong population and many more visitors.