Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter recruits Dani- elle Wood, Col Benstead, Robert Boyd and Ian Murphy are put through their paces during training.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter recruits Dani- elle Wood, Col Benstead, Robert Boyd and Ian Murphy are put through their paces during training. Blainey Woodham

Recruits off to flying start

CREW members at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter have welcomed two new highly-trained paramedics and doctors to their life-saving team.

Intensive care paramedics Ian Murphy and Col Benstead and retrieval doctors Danielle Wood and Robert Boyd spent this week training for their new roles with the Lismore-based helicopter service.

While the mention of workplace training for most requires copious amounts of coffee and a high tolerance for boredom, for the helicopter's new paramedics and doctors it involves exercises that are a little more adrenalin pumping.

Paramedics and doctors are sometimes required to winch down to patients in difficult locations, including cliff ledges, forest floors and oceans.

Luckily for Dr Boyd, who has relocated from Newcastle, his experience skydiving has him mildly-prepared.

"It is quite exciting. I have done a bit of skydiving so I'm not afraid of heights," he said.

Dr Boyd and his fellow re-trieval doctor Danielle Wood are sharing their six-month placement at the helicopter service with their roles at the Lismore Base Hospital emergency department.

"It's different to working in the emergency department where it's very hectic and there are a lot of things going on at the same time," Dr Boyd said.

"Whereas here, it's one thing at a time and you get to focus on one thing."

For intensive care paramedic Col Benstead, the job provided him with an opportunity to move back to the area where his par- ents and children reside.

It seems being a paramedic was Mr Benstead's destiny from birth, with his father opening the Kingscliff Ambulance Station and his grandfather opening the Murwillumbah Ambulance Station. Mr Murphy comes to Lismore from Narrabri.

"This is my first time working on an aircraft so I have a lot to learn, but it is very reassuring that the crew here are very safety orientated," Mr Murphy said.

 

Listen to intensive care paramedic Ian Murphy.

 

HAS THE HELICOPTER HELPED YOU? Leave a comment below.

 

 

 



UPDATE: Fire conditions ease after 'huge response'

UPDATE: Fire conditions ease after 'huge response'

2000ha bushfire at Ellangowan near Casino is still being controlled

PHOTOS: Dragon boats take over Ballina

premium_icon PHOTOS: Dragon boats take over Ballina

14 teams took advantage of the fantastic weather for major event

8 men, 5 trucks, 52 bales of hay: Helping out in 'war zone'

premium_icon 8 men, 5 trucks, 52 bales of hay: Helping out in 'war zone'

Northern Rivers councils help farmers in drought areas

Local Partners