Dr Erin Martin at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s Lismore base yesterday. She is the Lismore service’s first female doctor.
Dr Erin Martin at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s Lismore base yesterday. She is the Lismore service’s first female doctor.

Erin first lady 'copter doctor

DOCTOR Erin Martin has entered the high-octane world of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter as the Lismore-based service’s first female doctor.

The 33-year-old, who is employed at the Lismore Base Hospital’s emergency department, has been assigned to the helicopter service as part of her on-going training.

Dr Martin, who will act in the role for six months, replaces Dr Richard Mahoney who will stay on one day a week.

She attended her first ‘primary’ mission on Monday when the helicopter was called to a motor vehicle accident near Ocean Shores.

“It can be a bit nerve-racking when we go out (on missions) because we only have limited information about the job before we arrive at the accident scene,” Dr Martin said.

“Other than that, it’s great. I enjoy the helicopter and the crew are really competent.

“I can also potentially influence people’s lives in a positive way.”

Dr Martin hasn’t always worked in medicine. She started her working life as an engineer.

However, after just one year in the field, she realised that engineering wasn’t for her and went back to university, graduating with a medical degree in 2003.

“Engineering was a bit dry, much less people-focused than medicine,” she said.

“The attraction of emergency work is that it’s busy and you’ve got a great team to work with.”



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