In a society where we are expected to change jobs multiple times in a lifetime, a career spanning almost 30 years is something special.
This week Stanley Griffiths will be recognised as Tasmania’s longest serving Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot.
And he is one of the service’s longest serving pilots for the service nationally too.
Flying was something Mr Griffiths always wanted to do, spending his childhood studying the way birds moved through the air.
As part of this important job Mr Griffiths has been involved in significant moments in many Tasmanian – and Australian – lives.
He has helped deliver babies while flying, navigated difficult landings on rural roads and flown in to assist at outback crashes.
All of this involves a certain element of risk taking – something Mr Griffiths has taken in his stride.
“It was all about looking after the people in the bush. You did what you had to do to get the job done,” he explains.
“It may have involved taking risks, it may have involved breaching what would be normal legislation. But it’s a bit like – ‘do you drive through a red light when you drive an emergency vehicle’.”
And of course he has the stories where the adrenaline kicked in during a dangerous situation and he wondered if he would make it back home that night.
“I had to shut down [an engine] and I think I was the furthest you could get from land when this occurred,” Mr Griffiths told our reporter Jessica Willard.
“At that point you are not quite sure if this is going to end badly or not.”
This is the stuff of Hollywood.
But it’s not – it is one man doing his job to ensure the safety of others.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service’s mission is to “provide excellence in aeromedical and primary health care across Australia”, which is something Mr Griffiths has done for three decades.
This organisation provides primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to people living within 7.69 million square kilometres. That is a lot of ground to cover, some of which Mr Griffiths has traversed in his time at the controls.