Nurses with Altitude
Compiled by Gaye Richardson with a foreword by Tim Fischer
ISBN 978-0-85905-441-6, Soft cover, section sewn, 264 pages, 355grams
$35.00 + POST
A collection of stories by the nurses and their colleagues at the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Western Australia. Compiled by Gaye Richardson in conjunction with the Flight Nurse Reunion Committee.
Probably the best book on the RFDS, written by the staff from their own experiences.
John Flynn founded the famous Royal Flying Doctor Service to spread “a mantle of safety” over the remote communities of the Australian inland.
Essential to that continuing task are the flight nurses who accompany every flight. Along with the doctors and pilots with whom they fly, they have had to deal with many tough and challenging situations.
They may have been asked to confront mayhem, but there is nevertheless a great deal of mirth in this book – and a lot of magic.
In Nurses with Altitude those who flew out across the vast state of Western Australia tell their stories in their own words.
The flares lighting the runway twinkled warmly in the dark tepid night,
lightning flickered on the horizon to the south. The plane was very late.
A comforting conversation fluttered around about departure delays, head
winds and so on ….
The unease was more evident by its disappearance when the youngest ears heard the pulsating hum of aero engines and pointed to the pinpoint flashing light well above the horizon. The aircraft landed and refuelled.
The flight nurse, respected and well-known to the Warburton staff, made only a passing remark about the bumpiness coming through the storms before getting on with the business of loading her patient.
A brief friendly chat, doors closed, tearful farewell from the patient’s family, roar of engines, flashing red lights, billowing dust, the lights climbing in an arc into the inky black sky. The engine noise and then the flashing lights were swallowed up by the night.
There was no movement to douse the flares. Eyes and minds lingered on the thunderstorms flashing more brightly and with persistent rumbles to the south. I sensed more than heard the nurse standing next to me whisper, “Godspeed and keep you safe.”