Jim McGuire

Graphic: Jim McGuire

Flying high for the RFDS: Meet rotary pilot Jim McGuire

Date published

07 Sep 2022

The RFDS Fortescue Heli-Med Service introduced earlier this year is providing faster, smoother journeys for inter-hospital patient transfers from locations such as Northam, Jurien Bay, Bunbury and Narrogin. We invite you to e-meet rotary pilot Jim McGuire who operates on the frontline of the service and flies patients direct to the heli-decks of Perth’s major hospitals.

Graphic: Jim McGuire

Born and raised in Scotland, RFDS rotary pilot Jim said watching the Bush Tucker Man TV series on BBC UK inspired him to make the move to Australia in 1997.

“I’d watch Major Hiddins explore and travel to some of the most remote places and thought…what an adventure, I would love to see and work in outback Australia,” he said.

Jim did just that, working as a helicopter pilot in the Northern Territory from the early 2000s and then for the WA resources sector for more than 10 years before joining the RFDS.

Graphic: helicopters

Early last year, when Jim heard that the RFDS was expanding its fleet with the RFDS Fortescue Heli-Med Service his interest was immediately piqued.

“I was looking for a role that allowed me to spend more time with family, but the job had to be working with and helping people,” he said.

“As an RFDS pilot, I would get to do both so I was immediately attracted to the rotary pilot position. I had emergency medical services experience from my previous employment so it was quite an easy transition to the RFDS.”

Graphic: Jim McGuire

Joining the service in July 2021, Jim works as a member of a team of experienced pilots, doctors, flight nurses, engineers and logisticians who all work together to ensure people who
live, work and travel in rural and remote communities have access to the best possible care.

“Working with the RFDS, we get to assist people often when they need it most and I can’t think of any better way to spend my day at work,” Jim said.

“I’m lucky to get to fly around Western Australia as my job. It’s truly a spectacular State –from the beaches to the Wheatbelt – getting to see all this from the air is a privilege.”

Graphic: Operational Readiness Program

Jim said a highlight has been to witness and experience first-hand the love and support regional communities have for the RFDS.

“Before our helicopters took off to retrieve our first patient, we visited nearly 20 regional centres to introduce the new aircraft to local emergency services and the local community as part
of our Operational Readiness Program,” Jim said.

“We’d fly to a community and it seemed like the whole town would come out to watch us land on the oval, welcome us with sirens and lights, come over to check out the aircraft and share their stories of how the RFDS helped them or someone they know.

Graphic: kids

“We met so many incredible people who give their everything to support their local community.

“The volunteers really are the unsung heroes of rural Australia. It was great to meet, chat with them and thank our supporters who help to keep the RFDS flying.”

With your support, the RFDS is able to respond to the evolving health needs of Western Australians.