In 1917, Flynn received an inspirational letter from Lieutenant Clifford Peel, a Victorian medical student with an interest in aviation. The young airman and war hero suggested the use of aviation to bring medical help to the Outback. Shot down in France, he died at just 24 years of age and never knew that his letter became a blueprint for the creation of the Flying Doctor Service.
Convincing political leaders that this new tech could be used to save lives in the outback without the government having to build new hospitals, saving money by keeping their few experts in one place was a hard sell for Flynn.
Especially since he was not a subject matter expert. He wasn’t a doctor or a pilot. He was a pastor!
They initially dismissed & laughed at him.
But he persevered. Looking at data from wars. French records from 1901 indicated that the mortality rate of the injured was reduced from 60% to just under 10% of soldiers were evacuated by air.
Access to air ambulance services would also save massive infrastructure costs. Could the Government at the time really afford to build massive hospitals that could treat every emergency in every, a single region of Australia?
And even if they could? Did they have hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to run the hospitals?
Or the medical professionals required to live and work in all of these areas.
Long story cut short, a pastor started the first air ambulance in the entire world in 1928.
The medical community that may have initially scoffed at the idea became his greatest allies.