An Australian organisation providing medical services to remote areas of the outback, the Royal Flying Doctor Service operates thirteen flying bases in such areas as Mount Isa, Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta. The aircraft of the service act as emergency ambulances and also provide regular mobile clinics to isolated areas. They are used in search and rescue operations, and drop supplied and food in times of emergency such as floods and fires.
The third function of the Royal Flying Doctor Service is its radio services, which not only provide a valuable communications link with isolated places where there are no telephones and infrequent mails, but are also used to transmit the School of the Air. The School of the Air was established in 1951 at Alice Springs.
The idea of a flying doctor service came from John Flynn who devised the idea of providing easily handled radios to outback station. This was made possible by the invention of the pedal radio. The first service was established in 1928 in Queensland with the help of the Australian Inland Mission.