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30 years protecting the community: meet Latrobe Valley’s committed engineer

From supporting sick Victorians in their hour of need to playing a key role in critical state rescue operations, Babcock Australasia’s (Babcock) Carl Gilmore is celebrating 30 years of working as Base Chief Engineer at Traralgon in the Latrobe Valley.

Carl supports Babcock’s work with Ambulance Victoria by maintaining the emergency response AW139 helicopters used to conduct air ambulance operations and search and rescue missions across remote Victoria – from Bass Strait to the Victorian snowfields and as far afield as Tasmania and Canberra.

Babcock is Australia’s largest provider of rotary wing emergency services, proudly supporting emergency medical services, law enforcement and search and rescue aviation capability for our customers, including the State Rescue Helicopter Service in South Australia, Queensland Health, Ambulance Victoria and the Australian Border Force.

Reflecting on his milestone celebration, Carl said: “I love my job – it’s incredibly rewarding. There is a sense of pride each time I see the helicopter go out knowing that we’re rescuing people and keeping the community safe,” he said.

In Carl’s 30 years of service, he has remained committed to servicing his local community from the La Trobe Valley.

“In aviation, people never stay in one spot, they move around all over the place, from oil and gas, the airlines, the military; but for me, I’m probably an outlier – I’ve stayed in the one place forever,” he said.

Carl has supported some dramatic helicopter operations and rescues in the past 30 years.

“Probably the biggest operation I’ve been part of was the Sydney to Hobart yacht race rescues back in the 1990s. About 50 people were winched out of boats, life rafts and from the water, with aircraft from all over Victoria, New South Wales and Canberra involved in the rescues. We were continuously sending the helicopter out, getting them back, and doing the maintenance to keep the aircraft flying,” he said.

“The team I work with are all great people – from Babcock’s pilots, crewmen and support engineers to the Ambulance Victoria flight paramedics; we all work closely together every day.”

Babcock’s Base Manager and Aircrew Officer Matthew Weir praised Carl’s work ethic.

“Carl keeps everything running, not just the aircraft, but most things base-related as well. He takes ownership of the hangar, the workshops, and prides himself on it. Carl’s the sort of guy that gets the job done,” he said.

“There’s going to be big shoes to fill when he does finally hang up the towel.”

In March 2024, Ambulance Victoria (AV) extended its contract with Babcock Australasia to continue providing air ambulance operations to support paramedics in providing Best Care to patients across Victoria.

The five-year extension of the existing arrangement for the Air Ambulance helicopter fleet, which first commenced in January 2016, will come into effect from 1 January 2026.

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