Local nurses know importance of Royal Flying Doctor Service

Cobar nurses Lisa Travis and Beau Webster will walk the Larapinta Trek to raise funds for the RFDS.

Two local nurses are planning to walk 98km over five days through the McDonald Ranges in the Northern Territory to raise money and awareness for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The idea to walk the Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trek was Lisa Travis’ and she “conned” fellow Cobar Hospital nurse Beau Webster into joining her.

Lisa said she put the idea to Beau while they were working a night shift together.

“She took about 30 seconds to respond and she said, ‘Do you think I could do it?’ and I said, ‘Of course you can do it. It’s going to be good’,” Lisa recounted their conversation.

The pair said they were keen to raise money for the RFDS because they have seen first hand the good work the RFDS does in our area.

“They are our lifeline here at the hospital.

“I see them every shift,” Lisa said.

“Every shift they are transporting a patient or bringing something in. They are here at least every day, if not twice a day.”

In addition to medical retrievals, the RFDS also does immunisation and GP clinics at various places including Louth and Tilpa.

Lisa explained the RFDS helps them to get their patients to acute care facilities, whether that’s to regional centre hospitals such as Dubbo or Orange or further on to bigger hospitals in Sydney.

“I have had family use the RFDS; both my grandmothers as well as my sister Nikki who was significantly injured last year. They got her out within two hours and into Dubbo for a CT scan. It’s that quick response we rely on.”

Lisa said they would be lost without them.

“We count down minutes until they arrive.”

Beau said the staff very much rely on the fixed wing medical retrieval service that the RFDS provides.

“There are nurses and midwives and doctors on board and specialist medical equipment.

“I don’t think there are many people in the community who haven’t had a friend or relative who have used it.

“That’s why we chose RFDS,” Beau said.

The pair will head off on their 98km walk in June this year and will be part of an organised group of about 14 trekkers.

They will walk on average 18km per day and camp out each night.

When it comes to training, they won’t need to do a lot more walking than what they already do as walking is a big part of any nurse’s job. Beau has calculated that 20 laps of the hospital corridor is 1km and going by her calculations doing the trek will equate to doing six double shifts straight.

“We are relatively fit but as it gets closer to the trek, we’ll step it up and we are going to go to Mt Grenfell and do some more terrain training,” Lisa said.

While the RFDS is government funded they are however very appreciative of any additional funding they receive.

Donations will ensure the RFDS team can continue to deliver improved healthcare in rural and remote regional areas whether that’s through the upgrade of medical equipment or their aircraft.

Lisa and Beau have started fundraising (they have already raised over $5,000 through their Facebook and Everyday Hero pages).

They’ve received support from the local mines and businesses, from their families and local residents and plan to hold a few fundraising events before they leave.

Lisa said one group, The Cohoe Roosters, ex footballers from Cobar and Ivanhoe, have offered to double their donation if she and Beau will walk 100m of their trek backwards while singing they love the Cohoe Roosters!

Lisa and Beau said: “Challenge accepted!”