Rio Tinto has signed a new $6 million agreement to fund the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Life Flight for the next four years.
RFDS chief executive Grahame Marshall said the Rio Tinto Life Flight jet could reach patients in need anywhere in the State within hours and had become a vital service for West Australians.
“The Rio Tinto Life Flight jet has been the realisation of a long-held dream for the RFDS and the statistics alone prove just how important it is to continue to provide this service to rural and remote WA,” he said.
“We have experienced unprecedented demand for our services over the last three years and the jet has enabled us to respond to urgent cases in the furthest corners of our State and Australia’s Indian Ocean territories.”
Rio Tinto Pilbara Operations president Greg Lilleyman said Rio Tinto was proud to continue to be associated with such a vital service in remote medical care.
“When the partnership was developed, we wanted our contribution to really make a difference to regional communities, so seeing the jet continue to make such an impact is very rewarding for everyone at Rio Tinto,” he said.
“As a business, we operate in remote locations, so we understand the significant challenges faced by people living and working in regional WA.”
Mr Marshall said the jet allowed the RFDS to conduct the first double critical care transfer which would have been possible with their regular fleet.
“(The) announcement of continued support from Rio Tinto is another huge step forward for aero medical services in Australia,” he said.
Twenty per cent, or 171, of the patients transported by the Life Flight have come from the Pilbara.Last year, of the 352 patients evacuated, 76 were from the Pilbara, including 11 between October and December
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