Robin Emmett

WA Flying Doctor logistican set to retire after 33 years of service

Date published

26 Aug 2021

Robin Emmett understands RFDS operations like the back of his hand. Having served as a logistician for the RFDS for 33 years, Robin is set to retire later this year and you know he has some stories to share!

Robin richard sean

The RFDS' Coordination Centre is often referred to as the place where "the magic happens" - and for good reason. 

It's where more than 50,000 calls for help are triaged each year and where aircraft and crews are tasked to respond to emergencies to ensure our patients reach definitive care in the shortest possible timeframe. 

Robin likens the role to playing three-dimensional chess with problem-solving, resilience and teamwork a few of the keys to success. 

Robin Emmett

Over the past 30 years, he has witnessed the RFDS undergo massive transformation to expand its service delivery. 

Supported by advancements in aircraft technology and communications, this includes the establishment of a centralised Coordination Centre, a standardised aircraft fleet and the introduction of new services to benefit Western Australians. 

Within the last 18 months, Robin's wide skill-set and adaptability has seen him wear several different hats. 

He has filled in as Regional Operations Centre Manager and when COVID-19 began, he took up the role of RFDS Liaison Officer at the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC). 

Robin E

Since April this year, Robin's focus has turned to leading the coordination of our COVID-19 remote vaccination program across WA's vast regions. 

"I'm proud to bring the skills and knowledge I've gained over the past 30 years to this worthwhile project," Robin said. 

"It's a nice way to see the end of my 33 years with the RFDS." 

I walked out of the office after my shift and thought to myself, "Wow, that was cool". That's what the Royal Flying Doctor Service is all about - doing everything we can with what we've got to be there for patients.

RFDS logistician Robin Emmett
Robin Emmett

Robin said a memorable retrieval he helped coordinate involved the lengthening of a remote airstrip and lining up the head lights of vehicles to offer our chief pilot safe passage to land and extract a patient from a station north east of Geraldton.

That day, Robin remembers feeling like luck was on his side as he navigated the retrieval of the patient who was suffering injuries due to a motor vehicle accident.

Robin recalls discovering that crews undertaking road works for the local shire were camping close by. 

He was able to get in touch with them to ask them to help light the airstrip with their vehicles.

“The experiences I’ve had while working with the RFDS have really highlighted how people can be so giving and compassionate. It never fails to make me proud to be a Western Australian.”

Armed with a mischievous grin and a determined stride like a man always on a mission, Robin will be greatly missed when he retires.