WA Local Hero: dedication to Royal Flying Doctor Service sees Stephen Langford named a hero


WA Local Hero Stephen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
WA Local Hero Stephen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

FOR a third of a century, Stephen Langford has worked hard to improve access to medical services in the bush.

Dr Langford was named WA Local Hero earlier this year for 33 years of service with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

He will host a public forum at UWA with fellow WA Australian of the Year Award recipients Anne Carey, Graham Edwards and Catherine Hughes.

“We rely so much for our economic prosperity on what happens out in the country,” he said.

“I’ve spent a third of a century trying to improve access to medical care for people, particularly emergency services.

“A lot of it involves dealing with long distances and remote locations while bringing to those people the same level of care they might get if they were in the city.”

The RFDS medical services director helped campaign for the organisation’s first jet, put in service in 2009.

“We were the first RFDS to put a jet in, bearing in mind Kununurra is further away than Adelaide,” Dr Langford said.

“For critically ill patients, being able to move large distances fast is very important.”

Dr Langford also helped introduce new treatment to prevent premature birth, clot-busting drugs for heart patients and portable ultrasound to RFDS.

“One of the biggest achievements is we developed a truly State-wide aero-medical service; we cover a third of the Australian continent with a single number,” he said.

He published a book this year on his experiences called The Leading Edge.

WHAT: Great Australians Public Forum

WHERE: Octagon Theatre, University of WA

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 7pm to 8.30pm

TICKETS: ticketswa.com