Koroit kids enjoy encounter of the flying doctor kind | Watch the video

Koroit and District Primary School students Ava Sharman, 10, Keira Longmore, 8 and Connor Byrne, 9, sit inside the Royal Flying Doctor Service simulator during a visit to the school. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Koroit and District Primary School students Ava Sharman, 10, Keira Longmore, 8 and Connor Byrne, 9, sit inside the Royal Flying Doctor Service simulator during a visit to the school. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

THE fuselage of an air-craft rolled into the playground on the back of a trailer at Koroit and District Primary School yesterday.

As part of a Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) education program, pupils were given hands-on knowledge about the work of the service throughout Australia.

RFDS education program manager Tom Ryan visited the school with an aero-medical simulator, a life-sized replica of a Flying Doctors' plane fuselage fitted with communications and medical equipment.

Sixty pupils enjoyed an hour-long session with Mr Ryan, who delivered a presentation on the RFDS.

"The RFDS are very important to Australia," he said.

"They help 850 people every single day. There are 64 airplanes that fly all around Australia out of 21 bases."

The program included learning time inside the fuselage simulator, where pupils tested the headsets and loaded a "patient" into the back of the plane.

"The simulator is an actual size version of an RFDS plane complete with medical equipment," he said.

"Kids are encouraged to try everything on, push buttons and get an idea what it's like to be a pilot, nurse or doctor on a Flying Doctor plane."

Class teacher Rachael Lenehan said the visit was something new for pupils.

"They didn't really know much about it and what the RFDS actually do," she said.

"It's great for them to see something completely different that they have never seen before. They'll go home and it's something for them to talk to their parents about."

The RFDS attends to over 295,000 patients annually with 37,000 aeromedical evacuations and about 15,000 healthcare clinics per year.

RFDS Victoria delivers air and road transport and rural health programs, as well as raising funds for emergency equipment in other parts of Australia.

rhoulihan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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