WA grain growers will bankroll $450,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to improve its aerial services after CBH Group extended its support of the lifesaving organisation for the next three years. The co-operative announced the extension of its eight-year partnership with the RFDS on Tuesday, to coincide with National Farm Safety Week — which runs from July 18 to 24. The funding builds on the more than $1 million CBH and its 3900 grower members have donated to the RFDS since 2014, with the figure expected to reach $1.5m total by 2025. The announcement comes after the RFDS in May launched a fundraising push after its busiest year yet, with the service helping more than 1000 people nationwide each day. CBH’s contribution has helped support the RFDS’ Aero Medical Fund, which allows the organisation to buy state-of-the-art medical equipment for its aeromedical fleet — which is the biggest in the nation with 21 aircraft. Its WA-based fleet includes 16 Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft, three Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets and two Fortescue Heli-Med helicopters. Its partnership extension will help to support the annual Flying Doctor Day — the RFDS’ leading event — which is used to raise funds to purchase equipment through the aero medical fund. RFDS WA chair Sam Walsh said the organisation had retrieved 3054 patients from 48 grain-growing communities in the year to end September 2021, with the bulk of those for accidents and illness-related emergencies including farm accidents and mental health. CBH chair Simon Stead said the importance of the RFDS was “evident through any conversation you have with a grower”. “So many of us have family and friends that have needed the service and it is fitting we announce our partnership extension during National Farm Safety Week,” he said. “The week is a reminder that safety needs to be a priority in our daily activities. “It is at the heart of the co-operative to care for the community in which it operates.” RFDS WA has five facilities and helps nearly 70,000 people through aero medical retrievals and transfers, remote healthcare clinics and telehealth services. CBH first partnered with the RFDS in 2014, kickstarting a fruitful partnership with a $300,000 donation which was — at the time — its biggest partnership through the CBH Community Investment Program.