A Royal Australian Air Force C-27J Spartan has delivered life-saving dialysis supplies to a medical facility in the flood-affected Kimberley region.
CAPTION: Urgent medical supplies are loaded onto a C-27J Spartan for delivery to Derby during Operation Flood Assist 23-1. Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.
Road transport to the facility in the north-western town of Derby was cut off by severe flooding in the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.
Michelle Rickerby, Renal Service Manager at the Derby Renal Health Centre, said the facility was just 24 hours away from running out of supplies completely.
“We normally get all our supplies by road, but with the road closed we had only 24 hours left before we would be forced to stop providing dialysis services,” she said.
Two C-27J Spartans from 35 Squadron are currently moving supplies and personnel around the flooded Kimberley region at the request of the National Emergency Management Agency.
A C-130J Hercules had also earlier transported a team of more than 50 Western Australian emergency services workers to the region.
Flight Lieutenant Brendan Lohman, who captained the 35 Squadron Spartan aircraft into Derby, said the crew were ready to continue to provide emergency supplies, food rations, personnel and equipment as required.
“We’re now working across the region and will continue to move supplies and equipment where and when they are needed,” Flight Lieutenant Lohman said.
“It’s always gratifying to know that we can make a difference by delivering things such as these vital emergency medical supplies.”
CAPTION: A C-27J Spartan arrives in Broome, with C-130J Hercules in the foreground, to add transport capacity to Op Flood Assist 2023-1. Photo by Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill.