Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter medical retrieval team (l to r) Dr Danielle Wood, paramedic Ian Murphy, Dr Ian Boyd and paramedic Col Benstead ready for training in helicopter rescue techniques.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter medical retrieval team (l to r) Dr Danielle Wood, paramedic Ian Murphy, Dr Ian Boyd and paramedic Col Benstead ready for training in helicopter rescue techniques.

Medical crew ready to save lives

Saving lives is their mission and they are taking it seriously. For the two new doctors and two paramedics who've joined the medical retrieval team of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, learning how to safely retrieve people from difficult situations is all part of the job.

Doctors Danielle Wood and Rob Boyd, along with paramedics Ian Murphy and Col Benstead, came on board last month to work with the local rescue helicopter's pilots and crew during the service's missions. The two paramedics are based with the Ambulance Service of NSW in Lismore and are being trained in helicopter rescue and retrieval procedures by aircrew chief Roger Fry.

Paramedic Ian Murphy recently moved from Narrabri to Lismore and said he is enjoying learning the ropes as a retrieval paramedic.

"I'm excited and nervous and particularly keen to learn the right way," Ian said. "However, Roger is very focused on safety, which is reassuring for the crew members."

Doctor Rob Boyd will be with the service until at least April and said he is finding the job challenging.

"It's different to working in a hospital," he said. "You are doing things you're not used to doing in an unfamiliar environment."

The two doctors are employed by the Health Department of NSW and are part of the Lismore Base Hospital Emergency Department team. The paramedics will be called when the helicopter service is tasked to a mission by the Medical Retrieval Unit in Sydney.


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