Kangaroo Island volunteers raise $30,500 for Flying Doctor

FLYING DONATION: RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group members present the big cheque to RFDS volunteer coordinator Lindy Allchurch at the group's AGM.

FLYING DONATION: RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group members present the big cheque to RFDS volunteer coordinator Lindy Allchurch at the group's AGM.

A dedicated group of Kangaroo Island volunteers has raised $30,500 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The donation represents the RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group's fundraising efforts, with the support of the KI community, over the past year.

"Three times a week the RFDS lands on KI to airlift patients to Adelaide for life- saving surgery or specialist medical treatment," president Irene Langford said.

"Those of us living on KI are all too familiar with the tyranny of distance and the importance of access to specialist care in times of medical emergency.

"The RFDS provides this vital access, not to just for those of us living on KI, but to more than 15 South Australians every day - in the outback, from the regions and in the city alike."

Since last year's donation the RFDS has introduced to operational service the RFDS Medi-Jet 24, South Australia's first purpose-built aeromedical jet.

The $13 million aircraft was funded solely by bequests, sponsorships and donations from the community.

"We feel very humbled to have played our part with others in raising the funds for the RFDS to purchase the ultimate 'flying intensive care unit', capable of slashing total mission times of long-haul patient evacuations from the outback or interstate to specialist medical care," Mrs Langford said.

"I extend my sincere thanks to every member of the RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group for their hard work and commitment, and to our local community for their on-going support of our fundraising activities. So much can be achieved when people work together for a common goal."

Mrs Langford presented a $30,500 donation to Lindy Allchurch, Volunteer Coordinator of RFDS Central Operations, at the group's AGM on Sunday, October 20.

"This year's donation takes the group's total contribution to the Flying Doctor to more than $230,000 since it began fundraising in 2005, which is a remarkable achievement," Ms Allchurch said.

"The latest donation, like those before, will be used to help meet the shortfall in our operational funding and to finance our capital-raising program for the purchase of our 'flying intensive care units' - the next to arrive late this year.

"On behalf of everyone at RFDS - and the thousands of South Australians we airlift every year - we offer our heartfelt thanks for your hard work and service to your local community."

Inquiries to get involved with RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group are always welcome. Contact Irene Langford, president, RFDS Kangaroo Island Support Group, on 8553 2781.

ABOUT THE RFDS

Established in 1928 by the Reverend John Flynn (Australian $20 note), the RFDS is the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisation in the world.

In addition to the aeromedical retrieval of the critically-ill or injured, the RFDS also delivers a broad range of essential primary and preventative health care services, including tele-health, mental health, oral health and chronic disease management.

Today, the RFDS provides the finest care to more than 330,000 Australians each year - equivalent to one person every two minutes.

In addition to assisting those living, working and travelling in rural and remote Australia, the RFDS also delivers critical support to those who live in urban centres. This includes the regular transfer of patients to interstate hospitals for life-saving surgery such as organ transplant and heart surgery on newborn babies.

The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation. While supported by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, the RFDS relies on bequests, sponsorships and donations to bridge the gap in its operational funding and to purchase its 'flying intensive care units' at a cost of more than $7 million each.

RFDS Central Operations is responsible for delivering 24/7 emergency aeromedical and essential primary health care services throughout South Australia and the southern half of the Northern Territory.

It operates four aeromedical bases located in Adelaide, Port Augusta, Alice Springs and Darwin, as well as three primary health care facilities in Marree, Andamooka and Marla in outback South Australia.

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