New casual rescue crew members Alex Burns (left) and Loudon Potter (right) with air crew Jethro Lampe who is showing them the ropes this week.
New casual rescue crew members Alex Burns (left) and Loudon Potter (right) with air crew Jethro Lampe who is showing them the ropes this week.

New rescuers take to the sky

WESTPAC Life Saver Rescue Helicopter welcomes two new casual rescue crew members to the Lismore Helibase this week.

Alex Burns and Loudon Potter are no strangers to life saving as both are life guards for Surf Life Saving NSW in the Byron area.

"Being with the Helicopter ties in with our life saving roles," Alex said.

"I like being able to help people and I'm stoked to be able to work with the rescue helicopter."

Air Crew Chief Roger Fry said Life Guards are well suited to the role of rescue crew members on the aircraft as they are trained to operate in the water.

"The role of our rescue crew members is to conduct water winches which can take place in the surf, rivers, dams or any water situation," Mr Fry said.

Alex and Loudon continue the practice the Service has of engaging Life Guards who have the fitness, training and experience of saving lives. This makes them well suited to operating in the high pressure role of rescue crew members.

Mr Fry said the pair spent the weekend at the Helibase and will undergo land and water winch training during the week.

Mr Fry said the summer holiday period is usually the busiest time of the year for the helirescue service, with people surfing, swimming and boating, water activities can lead to accidents.

"We are called on to carry out more rescues at this time of the year and the North Coast beaches and rivers are sometimes the scene of accidents."

"We urge people to take care when in or near the water."



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