Vital equipment to aid in the transportation of rural and remote patients in Far North Queensland has been gifted to the Royal Flying Doctor Service base in Cairns.
A recent $10,400 donation from Murray Masonic Lodge in Cairns and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland enabled the purchase of two vacuum mats to help stabilise patients suspected of a spinal injury. The funds also covered the cost of new pilot headsets and sound-reducing headsets for the crew onboard.
Murray Masonic Lodge representative Alan Sims said they were pleased to support both patients and crew.
“This is the second donation from our Lodge to the RFDS in Cairns for this calendar year alone – taking the total donated in 2019 to $21,200. It’s really special to be able to help them carry out their vital work,” Alan said.
“When patients suspected of a spinal injury are placed into one of these vacuum mats, they will be securely strapped in, preventing further injury during the transportation process. While the headsets will allow for better communication between the pilot and crew onboard.”
“A few years ago, we also donated a vaccine pump and a fridge for use in their new plane.”
Alan knows all too well the critical role that the RFDS plays in rural and remote communities, with his grandson and son only here today thanks largely to the aeromedical service.
“If it were not for that new plane, I would not have my son today. Also, seventeen years ago an RFDS plane was in use for twenty hours for my grandson, so we’re very grateful for their life-saving work.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said, providing a hand up to alleviate suffering and misfortune were central to their values, which aligned with the work of the RFDS.
“We are pleased to have maximised the impact of Murray Masonic Lodge’s charity work through our Grassroots Grants program,” Gary said.
Photo: Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon (first left) and Murray Lodge Worshipful Master Alan Sims (first right) look on as Cairns RFDS base Manager Leanne Lowe and RFDS Dr. Dean Murray demonstrate how the vacuum mat will be used with Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan acting as the patient.