Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Royal Flying Doctors Museum - Alice Springs

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS, informally known as The Flying Doctor) is an emergency and primary health care service for those living in rural, remote and regional areas of Australia. It is a not-for-profit organisation which provides health care to people who are unable to access a hospital or general practice due to the vast distances of the Outback.

The service began in 1928, originally as an experiment known as the Aerial Medical Service (AMS) which was to run for a single year. This experiment was based in Cloncurry, Queensland. It was formed by Reverend John Flynn, the first Superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM), a branch of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.


Its gone on to become a vital part, and a cultural icon, of Outback Australia. Rev. John Flynn is the face that adorns the Australian $20 note.

The Royal Flying Doctors Service is one of the greatest of Aussie inventions - the Museum in Alice Springs does a great job at explaining its history, its progress and where it is headed for the future.

There isnt much to see in Alice Springs, but if anyone travels through, this Museum is a must!

The photo below shows that the Northern Territory's arm of the RFDS covers an area the size of England.

The old Radio Room, prior to the operations being moved down to Port Augusta down in Adelaide. Now, all emergencies are radioed to Port Augusta and the RFDS is dispatched from there. But this shows how the operations room was set up back when the Alice Springs centre was in operation.

The type of planes used these days.

The original planes used to transport nurses and doctors out to the Outback areas.

A "mock up" of how the planes are fitted out.

An example of the old 1940's medicine kits.

Each Outback station has a medicine chest. Much of the time, medical help can be received over the telephone, with a doctor directing those in the Outback to the medicine chest. This picture is an example of the old chests used back in the 1960s.

This chart has been used for half a decade and is still used today. Those who are attending to the injured use this chart to assist the medical assistant on the phone in identifying the kind of injury that the person may be suffering.

This book was dispensed out to Outback Stations, along with the above chart, and a medicine chest.

A closer look at the radio control room's old equipment, dating back to the 1950's.

The old radio control room.

Before telephones were invented, morse code was used to communicate.

Fine words from a fine man.


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