If 2020 were a flight, you could say it has been turbulent. While there’s been some positive news like $19 Sydney to Melbourne flights and Sydneysiders ‘thoroughly’ enjoying working from home, there’s also been a pandemic.
From new economy seat designs, ‘health passports‘ and trans-Tasman bubble proposals floating around, not to mention Virgin Australia going into administration and a frequent flyer points crackdown, it’s been a ride so bumpy it makes the Kokoda trail look flat.
There have also been some truly uplifting moments. One of which we’d like to bring to your attention today: Qantas pilots using their time off to help out Aussie communities.
As we reported last month, some Qantas pilots have joined the flying doctor service. More recently, and as posted to Instagram this week by Qantas, is the following story of Pilot Sean Golding, a Qantas B787 Captain who recently swapped flying jets for working as a NSW Paramedic.
“I trained as a paramedic 4 years ago while I was flying the A330 and would study in my hotel room on layovers and do clinical experience on my days off,” Sean said.
“I was also working as a casual diving instructor so thought the paramedic skills might come in handy. Ironically, I’ve never had to use them diving, but have had a few instances on the aircraft where it’s proven helpful.”
“One time I was a passenger on a flight and a woman started bleeding quite badly. I worked with an emergency doctor who happened to be on board to manage her condition with IV fluids to keep her stable until we landed.”
“When COVID-19 came about, I had this training to fall back on, so was able to switch from flying a 787 around the world to riding in an ambulance. I’ve had a few COVID-19 patients in the back with me as we move them from hospital to hospital.”
“Sometimes I tell them flying stories as a distraction. It has been eye-opening and rewarding both personally and professionally to do something different.”
“If nothing else, COVID-19 has made me realise how important it is to find the good in every situation and make the most of each moment, because as I keep seeing, sometimes those moments are gone.”
The story was met with comments like, “Awesome story – sounds like he is the actual spirit of Australia” and “It’s these people that power Australia through times of uncertainty.”
We can’t help but agree.