Long way down for Lismore paramedic
IF saving lives wasn’t enough, Lismore ambulance paramedic Lloyd Herbert has proven he’s got a stomach of steel after abseiling almost 100 metres from the steepest and largest aerial cable in the Southern Hemisphere.
The abseil was part of NSW Ambulance Special Casualty Access Team training aimed at preparing paramedics for remote area rescues.
The intensive care paramedics dropped through a hatch in Scenic Cableway’s floor above the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains.
Each carried 25kg packs, the same weight they would carry if they were dropping into a remote canyon to rescue someone injured.
NSW Ambulance Superintendent Aeromedical Training Manager, Paul Kernick, said using the Scenic Cableway for training allowed the trainees to practice the abseiling skills and techniques needed to safely perform life-saving rescues in a real life response.
“This contextualises their training,” Paul said. “This is like descending from a chopper where you have nothing to put your feet on and no rock face to gauge your speed [going down the rope].”
NSW Ambulance Paramedic Educator, Martin Pearce, said until this exercise, the height of trainees’ abseils had been under 50m.
“This is closer to 100m and they’ll need to use all of the skills they’ve learnt to-date,” he said. “The Scenic Cableway gives them a real feel for what abseiling mid-air is like.”
Three weeks into a five week course, the intensive care paramedics who qualify through the course will join a select few in the NSW Ambulance Special Casualty Access Team.