Graphic: Jamie Hall
On any given day, Jamie can be tasked to retrieve and fly patients to safety from the furthest corners of WA - and everywhere in between - for a variety of reasons. Working as a team with the service's doctors and flight nurses to help patients in need, Jamie has gained incredible experience unique to working with the RFDS.
Graphic: Jamie Hall
Q) What would you say is the most fulfilling part of your job Jamie?
A. Knowing that we make a difference when our patients are experiencing one of the worst days of their life and seeing the relief on a patient's face when we arrive.
Q) What is it like flying for the RFDS?
A. There's sometimes a lot of pressure, especially when someone has been badly injured or is critically ill. With the areas we pass over, we can operate in an array of different conditions in a single day, with winter conditions in the south and summer conditions in the north, storms across the top end and fine weather elsewhere.
But safety always comes first. It's all worth it at the end of the day with the reward that we get after a successful tasking.
Q) How did you come to realise that you wanted to be a pilot?
A. I have wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember. I have always been fascinated that we can send a man-made machine into the air. Since I became a pilot, flying for the RFDS was my dream job.
Q) What was a memorable flight?
A. There are so many but the ones that stand out are landing in the middle of the night on a remote cattle stations in the desert with home-made flares made out of toilet paper rolls soaked in diesel to light up the runway. Landing at the Bungle Bungle Range at sunset was also very cool.
Graphic: Jamie Hall Ashburton Downs
Q) What was it like working as a pilot in the Pilbara and being a part of the community?
A. An amazing experience. When we would fly out to the remote Indigenous communities, the entire community would come out to welcome us. The kids have the biggest grins and laugh and cheer as if we have arrived to entertain them. Living, breathing and experiencing life in the Pilbara community was very special. Sometimes I would be given hugs in the shopping centre for just having done my job, as most would know who work for the RFDS.
Q) What reception do you get from people when you say you work for the RFDS?
A. It is amazing how many people have a personal story to share about either their own or a friend or family member's experience when they were helped by the RFDS. I also get a lot of hugs and thank you wishes. Prior to joining the RFDS, I had my own experience of being helped by them, so I understand why people feel that way. It is also why I wanted to be a part of the organisation so much.
Q) Any giggles on the job that you are able to share?
A. There are no toilets on the aircraft, so sometimes we have to hold for hours and hours. Seeing an aircraft door fly open and watching a pilot, doctor or nurse run for their lives to get to the toilet after a long flight is always funny - when it happens to someone else.