Today’s announcement coincides with the launch of a local fundraising campaign to help offset the cost of the AUS $550,000 project.
RFDS crews land in South Australia's rural Riverland area at least once a day (more than 600 times per year) to airlift residents and tourists for life-saving care or specialist medical treatment in Adelaide.
Like those at all rural, regional and remote airfields across South Australia, patients in Renmark are transferred between RFDS and local South Australia Ambulance Service (SAAS) crews on the tarmac at any time of the day or night, and through all weather and light conditions.
RFDS Central Operations Chairman Peter de Cure said the establishment of a dedicated RFDS Renmark Patient Transfer Facility would set new standards in patient care and operational response times for critical patients in the Riverland, as well as improve comfort levels for patients, crews and service-delivery partners.
“Currently, the only accessible indoor space in the Renmark Airport precinct is the general terminal, which is open to the public and has no medical provisions or access to privacy,” he said.
“The new facility will enable RFDS, SAAS and SAAS MedSTAR crews to treat and stabilise patients in a well-lit, climate-controlled, safe and private setting, which is especially important for night transfers and on days when temperatures are in the 40s.”
The RFDS Renmark Patient Transfer Facility will feature:
- a climate-controlled indoor environment for the clinical handover of patients between RFDS and SAAS crews;
- a stabilisation bay for retrieval teams to manage deteriorating patients prior to flight;
- a spacious floorplan to accommodate multiple patients and crews at the same time;
- a secure undercover ambulance patient drop-off area;
- a standby light vehicle for transport of retrieval teams to local hospitals and;
- private rest areas for patients and crews.