Response Ready for WA

Date published

26 Mar 2020

Our Flying Doctor crews on the frontline of our 24-hour aeromedical emergency service continue to work through these unprecedented times.

RFDS has been a trusted and quintessential Australian partner in Western Australia for more than 90 years. We are there to help a mate when they need us the most – and that time is now, in the coming weeks and the many months ahead.

We are actively helping every day in many different ways.

  • Our response has been swift and collaborative. As a frontline responder, we have a seat at the table of the State’s emergency response coordination
    team and we are collaborating as a key ally in WA’s health response.
  • RFDS WA has an integrated fleet of 16 PC-12 turbo props and two Rio Tinto Lifeflight PC-24 jets which have revolutionised the way we can coordinate our
    resources across the largest health jurisdicion in the world.
  • Our logisticians in our Coordination Centre are a pivotal resource in coordinating and mobilising emergency service responses in collaboration with our health network partners.
  • We have five strategically located bases across Western Australia ensuring a far-reaching geographical impact and prompt aeromedical response.
  • We employ our own specialist emergency doctors, flight nurses, pilots, avionics engineers and logisticians to ensure the highest level of professional care.
  • We have more than 500 Medical Chests strategically located around the regions – stocked with important pharmaceuticals to treat and stabilise patients.
  • We have access and experience in sevicing 784 landing strips in regional WA.
  • Each of our aircraft are intensive care units in the sky and fully equipped with ventilators, monitors and innovative, purpose-built aeromedical equipment.

The response to, and recovery from, COVID-19 will be a critical, ongoing team effort. We are recruiting more doctors, nurses, pilots and support team to keep our teams response ready throughout the pandemic.

As we pivot our focus to the most pressing issues as they evolve each day, we have made many decisions in recent weeks which may affect you as one of our valued supporters.

We have suspended visitors, tours and events at all of our bases for the foreseeable future. We apologise if this has inconvenienced you and we look forward to a time in the future when we can welcome you again to our base.

We have introduced working from home arrangements for those staff able to conduct their work remotely. We ask for your patience if this means that your donation may take a few extra days to be processed or your call answered.

We have separated our Jandakot base to encourage social distancing between our clinicians, aviators, engineers, logisticians and support teams. Furthermore within these teams we have introduced different shifts to ensure we have business continuity into the coming months.

We routinely treat patients with infectious diseases and we have effective and excellent infection control protocols and experience. Our Infection Control, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and aircraft cleaning/disinfecting protocols are leading the way in aeromedical retrievals. The health and safety of our patients and staff are at the forefront of our operations.

As an advocate for health equity and community health care, I strongly encourage you to take heed of the public health advice to ensure hand hygiene, social distancing, cough etiquette and to stay home and avoid unnecessary outings. These are simple measures to contain the spread of the virus and they really do make a difference.

We are all in this together and please be assured that the Flying Doctor is doing our part for Western Australia. 

As we respond to this pandemic, we reflect on the privilege we hold at the RFDS, in being able to serve the Western Australian community at this time when they need us the most.

If you are in a position to do so and would like to support our response to COVID-19 in WA, please donate today.

To view our RFDS Response Ready for WA Capability Statement, please refer to the document here

We have developed a document to advise remote locations on how to prepare potential COVID-19 patients for an RFDS transfer. Please refer to the document here.