Esperance’s Robert Horan said he was honoured and thrilled with his new position as Esperance Auxiliary Royal Flying Doctor Service president.
“Since I’ve met the people I’ve been absolutely blown away with the auxiliary, with the group of people that are there and how keen they are and how good they are at their job,” he said.
“I've never had a job where people are so helpful.
“Here everybody has a passion for the Flying Doctor and everybody realises that because we're in a rural area and an isolated area, the flying doctors are very important.
“I can't speak highly enough I’ve always donated to the Flying Doctor.”
After Esperance Auxiliary president and vice president Helen and Ian Scott stepped down on February 5 2018, Mr Horan was elected unopposed as the new president.
“They knew that I’d retired and I was approached by the president at the time.”
“I really love working with apprentices and I accepted gratefully.”
Mr Horan encouraged people to think about the vital role the RFDS played in the community the next time a volunteer came around with a tin.
“Recognise Flying Doctor Service for what it is, and the value to the town and what it would be like if we didn't have it.”
“We’re in a rural area and it's an 8 hour drive to the city, [because of the RFDS] if you have an accident you can be in the city in an hour to an hour and a half.
“We need to make sure people are upfront, when people come knocking on your door, we need to donate freely.
“Its a good cause.”
He said the new aircraft unveiled by the State Government would benefit Esperance in the event of a major health incident.
“They can take more people, they’re faster and they can land on unsealed surfaces.”
“That should make a hell of a lot of difference.
“If we had a disaster here, a jet would certainly be the way to go.”
Mr Horan said the biggest fundraisers in Esperance were the Fire Wood Cutters, with local volunteers and businesses having raised a lot of money for the auxiliary.
“The Wood Cutters are a group of guys that make a phenomenal amount of money and they do a really good job.”
“The rest of the auxiliary run raffles and does lots of other things, particularly with the coin collection.
“They made about $23,000 last year just with the tins around from different businesses.
“I think the woodcutters were in the $70,000 mark.”
Mr Horan has lived in Esperance for over 40 years and personally used the RFDS twice.
“I had a broken back and a heart attack.”
“I went to the Esperance Hospital and they put me on the Flying Doctor and then they flew me to Royal Perth Hospital.
“It was smooth and I was well looked after, it was great.”