09 November 2018

Townsville RFDS aircraft equipped with new ventilator

Filed under: Latest News

The task of providing oxygen to patients onboard one of Townsville’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) aircrafts will be significantly easier after the Freemasons of Bowen joined forces with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to donate a new high-tech transport ventilator.

The compact all-in-one Hamilton-T1 ventilator has a built-in turbine, eliminating the need to carry oxygen cylinders onboard – making it a huge space-saver. The “intelligent” device can also automatically adjust airflow, according to the patient’s condition and provide real-time visual information about how the patient’s lungs and heart are responding during the flight.

Kennedy Masonic Lodge, initially contributed $10,000 through Hand Heart Pocket’s Dollar for Dollar Grassroots Grants, before putting in another $5,000 and securing a further $36,450 through the organisation’s Dollar for Dollar Plus Grassroots Grants to bring this initiative to fruition.

Kennedy Masonic Lodge representative Robert Andersen said it was a pleasure to provide a hand up with the fit out of this device in one of the two aircrafts in use in Townsville.

“When we came to know that the RFDS had plans to fit this device in up to 10 of its aircraft across Queensland, we wanted to do what we could to help,” Robert said.

“In the last 16 years, the Lodge has donated in excess of $130,000 to the RFDS in Townsville. More recently with the help of Hand Heart Pocket, we’ve continued our support of this valuable service,” he said.

“What’s great about this life-saving device is its versatility. Anyone from an adult, child or newborn can be hooked up to it and given that the RFDS responds to such a wide range of situations, this is exactly what they need.”

Last financial year alone, the medical team in Townsville transported 2090 critically ill or injured patients – travelling as far north as Cairns, out west to Mt Isa and south to Brisbane.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said investing in innovative life-saving equipment to empower people to lead better lives is what this initiative is all about.

“We believe in providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources,” Gary said.

“Thanks to the relationship that Kennedy Masonic Lodge has cultivated with the RFDS, we were able to team up to bring an important grassroots initiative to fruition,” he said.

Photo: Kennedy Masonic Lodge representatives Alf Pearce, Kevin Yarrow, Steve Fisher, Merv Tickle, Robert Andersen and Roy Facey with Townsville Royal Flying Doctor Service nurse Ashlea Turnham and Base coordinator Gail Hill.

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