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Ahrens to complete landmark RFDS patient transfer facility

Ahrens will support the crucial services of the RFDS by completing a landmark patient transfer facility at Mount Gambier Airport.

Ahrens will play a pivotal role in supporting the crucial services of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) by constructing a landmark patient transfer facility at Mount Gambier Airport.

With a long history of completing works for RFDS throughout Australia and a longstanding corporate partner, Ahrens were honoured to be awarded head contractor for this project.

The first of its kind in regional South Australia, the facility will improve response times for critical patients as well as provide a greater level of comfort for crew and patients awaiting transfer through the RFDS.

RFDS crews land at least once a day at Mount Gambier Airport for the transport of patients to one of Adelaide’s major hospitals to receive life-saving care or specialist medical treatment.

Currently patients are transferred in a RFDS aircraft standing on the tarmac, exposed to the elements and in all extremes of seasonal weather.

To improve patient comfort and care, the RFDS has purchased an existing aircraft hangar on site, and will refurbish half the structure into an indoor patient care facility, and retain the other half as a traditional hangar for aircraft parking and patient loading undercover.

Ahrens have extensive experience in completing design and construction projects for the aviation industry, including numerous aircraft hangars, purpose-built training facilities, associated offices, amenities and facilities.

Works will include:

  • a stabilisation bay for retrieval teams to manage deteriorating patients prior to flight
  • a climate controlled environment for the transfer of patients between SA Ambulance (SAAS) and RFDS crews
  • weather protection for the loading of patients into aircraft during extreme weather conditions
  • spacious floorplan to accommodate multiple patients and crews at the same time
  • modern amenities such as a private patient bathroom and crew rest areas
  • aircraft hangar to provide an undercover area with optimum artificial lighting for engineers to perform unscheduled aircraft maintenance
  • secure parking for ambulances stationed at the facility

Ahrens will look to support local subcontractors where possible to help construct the new facility.

RFDS Central Operations Chief Executive Tony Vaughan said the new facility would be invaluable in improving patient care and could not be done without the support of organisations like Ahrens and the local community.

“The RFDS Mount Gambier Patient Transfer Facility will set a new standard of care provided by the RFDS and its service-delivery partners at regional aerodromes across South Australia,” Mr Vaughan said.

“The RFDS is focused on driving continual improvement in our care for every patient and at every touchpoint, and we’re delighted that the community has come on board and supported this landmark project every step of the way.”

Work is scheduled to commence within weeks, and it is anticipated the facility will be fully operational early next year.

 

 

 

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