Recruits tested in ambulance helicopter training day: photos

They were winched, dunked in icy water and thrust into the midst of a simulated emergency - all in a day’s training for the regions’ helicopter paramedic crew.

The experienced team spent Tuesday morning putting new recruit Ben Southers through his paces as he came towards the final phase of his specialist training.

‘‘We do a lot of wholistic training, whereby we put the whole package together so recruits have already gone through medical training, aviation training, a three-week remote area access course, some more aviation training and then they come to me,’’ trainer Wayne Cannon explained.

Mr Cannon is responsible for giving new helicopter paramedics ‘‘contextualisation training’’ by creating simulated rescue scenarios incorporating a variety of skills.

Each simulated scenarios is organised ahead of time and called in as a real emergency unbeknowns to the recruit, who takes the call.

‘‘All he knew was there was a person caught in a rip of Shellharbour’s South Beach so he had to take the call, plan the (operation), pull the team together, get the gear together, fly out and talk to everyone at control,’’ Mr Cannon explained.

The team then performed a simulated rescue and resuscitation on the helicopter.

Mr Souther’s skills will be tested by a number of different emergency scenarios during his training with the Albion Park-based crew.

Only a handful of recruits complete the training each year.

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