Cirrus Owner Helping Deliver Needs For Bushfire Response in Mallacoota
I have watched the outpouring of support from everyday Australians and have considered, like many others, on ways and means of offering assistance. As a result, I began following community forums in these towns though social media to see if I could somehow help.
It was through these forums that I discovered health practitioners, like myself, were offering to volunteer their services to these towns given the increased health needs associated with the devastation.
I also discovered that there were significant logistical considerations in transporting these volunteers to Mallacoota in particular. I made contact with the local general practitioner on the ground and was given some insight into some of these logistical issues, offering to donate my time and Cirrus aircraft to transport supplies or people in and out as required. Last Friday night, I was requested, if available the following morning, to transport health practitioners in and out of Melbourne along with much needed medical supplies.
I recruited another Cirrus pilot and aircraft at short notice and on Saturday morning travelled Bankstown – Mallacoota – Lilydale – Mallacoota – Bankstown with the appropriate authorisation (as there is an active NOTAM stating MCO is closed to all aircraft except emergency aircraft). Although hopelessly inadequate compared to the countless hours our brave firefighters and other emergency services have volunteered, I felt it was the least I could do to lend a hand.
On another occasion we had a staff member and equipment stranded in Merimbula (as the RAAF had to divert due to smoke) and at short notice, I was able to organize an aircraft and pilot on the the following day to pick up the staff member and equipment in Merimbula, transport them to Mallacoota and bring a current volunteer doctor back to Sydney.
So, given all of this, I am looking for any Cirrus pilots who wish to volunteer their time and aircraft to help out with the medical effort in Mallacoota. The local GP has already to decided to bulk bill all medical consultations for the next 12 months and as a result, there will be volunteer medical practitioners coming from all over the country to help facilitate this. The roads remain cut off, and the only access in and out of Mallacoota at this stage remains by air.
I would like to use our wonderful skills and passion for aviation to help facilitate movement of medical services in and out for the foreseeable future and would like to ask any other interested pilots to get in contact with me.
We have already had 3 Cirrus aircraft and pilots go in to help with the medical effort (a big thank you to Peter Edwards and Alan Morton) and there will be a need for more.
If you are available to support the Mallacoota community please fill in the Volunteer Submit form below.