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Celebrating Customer Success in 2018

Why we do what we do is inextricably tied to one purpose — to help our customers stay safe and connected. In 2018, TracPlus has continued to allow our customers to do just that, so they can focus on each mission knowing they're in safe hands.

2018 was a huge year for us, but an even bigger year for our customers who continue to astound us with their passion, selflessness and drive for making the world a better place.

Here are just some of the customers we've caught up with over the year. 

Dr Dave Baldwin

At the start of the year, we caught up with Dr Dave Baldwin — Bulls Flying Doctor

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Dave's not just a pilot, nor a doctor, he's a passionate advocate for men’s health — making health education and services accessible for those who brush it under the carpet. And he's stopping at nothing to get his word out there.

Dave Baldwin runs a unique medical centre, providing a mobile aviation medical service to pilots located in the rural airstrips in Mountainous New Zealand.

Dr Dave ensures pilots are in good general health, and that they’ve not been affected by issues associated with flying such as altitude, chemical exposure or thermal stress. He's able to give pilots the once over, in the comfort of familiar surroundings. If they don't meet the standards, Dave then supports them to see specific practitioners so they can get back in the saddle.

Throughout Dave’s travels, he saw a disturbing trend in Kiwi men: a reluctance to talk about their health, often with dire consequences.

Dave knew he had to do something to change things, and the ‘Healthy Bastards’ campaign was born. Dave is now the President of the ‘International Healthy Bastards Club’ spreading awareness to community groups and prisons on health and wellbeing. His aim is to promote good health messages to those who don’t tend to listen.

Dave’s work is massively important. It demonstrates the capacity that human beings have to truly make a difference in the world today.

“I live to work and won’t be stopping till I drop.”

Ray Cronin

Passionate about making the world a safer and more resilient place in face of bushfires is Kestrel Aviation owner, Captain Ray Cronin.

Ray Cronin Kestrel

Australia’s aerial firefighting capabilities have been hugely boosted in the past few years due to the grit and determination of Kestrel Aviation founder, Ray Cronin. This year was one of the hottest winters on record in Australia amid a "long-term warming trend" mostly caused by climate change.

Consequently, Ray’s work is vital — and he’s stopping at nothing to ensure Australia is prepared for the wildfire season ahead and the threat climate change places.

“There’s not a lot of room other than getting bigger. The wildfire seasons have grown significantly. We’ve gone from a 3 to a 7 month season. Our patterns are showing this.”

This year, Kestrel Aviation became the first Australian owned helicopter company to obtain night firebombing trials approval in cooperation with CASA which moved to live fire in March in conjunction with Emergency Management Victoria and the Country Fire Authority. The successful outcome of these trials has now reached full maturity with Kestrel holding an unrestricted night firebombing approval from CASA. Ray and his team are now preparing to action this capability, paving the way for firefighting after dark in Australia for the first time.

“You can directly see the impact of your work. When fighting fires you have instant feedback. You can see the results of your work, and you know the people on the ground are grateful that you’re there.”

CareFlight Top End, Darwin

In August, we met with Chief Pilot Greg Ohlsson and General Manager Craig Gibbons from CareFlight Top End, based in Darwin.

CareFlight is an aeromedical rescue and retrieval company that is dedicated to providing the highest standard of rapid response critical care to the ill and injured. Their medical crews use helicopters, planes and road ambulances to bring a hospital level of care to their patients.

“Our mission is to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community and principally we do that by transporting a hospital level of care to where the patient is, taking them under our wing, and moving to a higher level of hospital care.” Craig Gibbons

Chief Pilot, Greg Ohlsson joined CareFlight in 2005, back when the team had 1 aircraft and 50 staff. Now, the organisation has over 500 staff and close to 20 aircraft.

“To see CareFlight grow and develop in Darwin is something I am very proud of.”

No day is the same for this busy team, who offer a lifeline to people who live in some of the most remote parts of Australia's Northern Territories. The team can fly for hours and see nobody, which is impossible in most cities across Australia.

The work is extremely diverse and expansive, and the team don’t know what they’re in for one day to the next. A day can see them flying hundreds of kilometres out to sea to winch injured sailors from ships, to heading deep into the depths of Australia's national parks to rescue bush-walkers.

“One of the beauties of having a highly skilled and integrated team is that it’s well within our capabilities to plan a complicated mission and execute on it seamlessly.” Craig Gibbons 

The Care Flight team are extremely proud of the work they do, but understand it can be bittersweet.

“Generally we need to remember that when we’re doing our best, people are having the worst day of their lives. So we don’t tend to celebrate the fact that we do that, but we’re very proud and pleased to be able to help people who’re in trouble.” Craig Gibbons

Marine Rescue WA

In August, the crew at Volunteer Marine Rescue Western Australia (VMRWA) welcomed our team to their base in Mandurah. We got to see, first hand, the sheer dedication and passion these people have for keeping their communities safe.

john jones marine rescue

Volunteer Marine Rescue Western Australia is a not-for-profit organisation representing some 1,400 volunteers across 38 volunteer marine rescue groups throughout Western Australia.

The origins of VMRWA can be traced back to the early 1970s, where after a tragedy at sea, a group of friends and seamen were motivated to educate, support and encourage safe use of boats across Western Australia.

Their volunteer members are their greatest strength. Recognised for their marine knowledge, courage and community service, they are dedicated to helping boaters stay safe. The group offer support to the Water Police in search and rescue missions, volunteering their time to support and act as guardians in their dedicated area.

National Aerial Firefighting Centre

In September we caught up with Richard Alder, the General Manager of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC). NAFC is a collective of states and territories that work together to share knowledge and specialised firefighting resources — a vital group in the face of increasingly demanding bushfire seasons across Australia.

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NAFC’s role is to coordinate and oversee aerial firefighting in Australia. The group was formed by the Australian States and Territories in July 2003 to provide a cooperative national arrangement for combating bushfires. It achieves this by facilitating the coordination and procurement of a fleet of highly specialised firefighting aircraft that are readily available for use by State and Territory emergency service and land management agencies.

“We’re seeing major fires across the country already, so it’s certainly ahead of schedule. It has the potential to be an above average season, especially in parts of New South Wales and Victoria.”

Richard’s role is to ensure Australia is prepared to fight bushfires safely and effectively, protecting the community as well as those on the front line.

“Our job is simply to be prepared. We’re certainly making sure we’re ready.” 

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We’re really proud of the strong relationships we have with our clients and always get a buzz out of celebrating their successes. In 2019 we look forward to dropping by more hangars, docks, and bases.

There's nothing better than being face to face with those on the ground, and seeing first-hand how we can help you do your jobs with more ease, and peace of mind.