From South Australian origins, Flying Doctor now part of aeromedical base at Adelaide Airport
The Royal Flying Doctor Service plane has added a jet to its fleet operating out of Adelaide Airport.
A $13 million aeromedical base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), including a new medical precinct where all members of retrieval services are now based, has been built at Adelaide Airport.
The base includes a six-aircraft hangar, an enhanced patient care area with private bays and a corporate office.
It gives the flying doctor greater access and space for storage and maintenance and improve response times. The RDFS was also due to get another aircraft in 2017.
The South Australian Ambulance Service’s Medstar team now share sthe same precinct at Adelaide Airport. This move saves seven to nine minutes of travel time for medical teams.
South Australia has close links with the start of the flying doctor service.
In 1911, the Rev John Flynn arrived at the tiny Smith of Dunesk Mission at Beltana, 500km north of Adelaide, Here he saw the rigours of outback life and realised there was no medical care for inland residents and travellers.
South Australian Alfred Traeger helped overcome the communication hurdle that held back Flynn’s vision for the flying doctor service. Traeger invented a pedal-operated generator to power a radio receiver. By 1929, people in isolated area were able to call on the flying factor to assist them in an emergency.
Flynn also received major help from Adelaide’s Adelaide Miethke, who came up with the idea for the flying doctor offshoot, the School of the Air, established in Alice Springs in 1951.