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When the Friends of Peel Island Association Inc. was wound up in June this year, its remaining funds were dispersed to the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS), Redland Museum and the Fort Lytton Historical Association. $10,000, which had been donated by Dr Ted Reye on behalf of Rosemary Opala, a former nurse at the Peel Island Lazaret, went to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to help buy a Hamilton Ventilator which has the capability of being used on patients ranging from premature babies right through to adults. The Ventilator – costing in the vicinity of $50,000 – is at the RFDS base at Brisbane Airport for use in any of the planes requiring the equipment.

RFDS Ventilator and Dr Ted Reye

On 15 May 1928, John Flynn’s dream became a reality with the opening of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service in Cloncurry, Queensland (later to be renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service). From the first flight in a single engine, fabric covered bi-plane, the RFDS steadily grew in size, scope and reach. 

Over the next few years, the RFDS began to expand across the country: The RFDS Brisbane Base commenced operations out of Queensland Ambulance’s Terminal at Brisbane Airport, on 3 July 1995, with the current base location commencing operations next door in 1998. The Base is exclusively an emergency aeromedical base, providing retrieval and inter-hospital transfers. The terminal facilitates receipt of patients transported to Brisbane by the RFDS, as well as receipt of patients transported by other aeromedical providers such as Queensland and NSW Ambulance Services. Clinical coordination is provided by Queensland Health employed doctors and aircraft tasking by RSQ.

Tours of the facility are available to the public with tour groups limited to 15 people maximum. For further details telephone 0428054990.

Conditions are cramped inside the Beechcraft Kingair