Retrievals are primarily by fixed-wing PC-12 turboprop aircraft. We operate with a single pilot, doctor and flight nurse. The passenger cabin is modified to carry two stretchers and 3 seats.
We also work closely with St John Ambulance to undertake road retrievals, including primary trauma responses.
There are currently no medically configured helicopter services available in the central Australian region.
This job takes you to the most surprising places.
Travelling around, you will gain access to some of the most remote communities in Australia. One day you will be in the tiny clinic of a community only 150 people strong, the next trying to assess someone on a billiard table in a roadhouse. Every flight is different.
And let’s face it, whose office comes with a better view!
Each community has its own personality and idiosyncracies; so you will learn to look out for the donkeys at Areyonga, see the honey ant dreaming motif in the layout of Papunya, and travel to Kiwirrkurra, the ‘Jewel of the West’. Approximately 80 – 90% of the patients retrieved are Aboriginal. Languages spoken include Arrernte, Warlpiri, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, and many others, often with English as a second language.
Within our catchment area, the vast majority of retrievals will be from clinics, cattle stations and mine sites. Staffing and stocking can be highly variable between locations, such that you may be picking up patients from a first aid officer or relieving a fatigued remote area nurse that has been awake for the last 24 hours. There is a 30 bed hospital that lies approximately 500km north of Alice Springs, but this is the only other hospital in the region.
Step outside of your comfort zone.
The limitation in resources can make this a tough job at times. You simply don’t have the personnel and equipment of an urban hospital at your finger tips. But this challenge is also part of the reward; pushing your clinical skills and putting your knowledge and acumen to the test. The Central Australian Retrieval service is looking to recruit resilient, adventurous people who can work together in a close knit team to provide emergency medical support to people across a vast 1.6 million square kilometres.