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Air Ambulance Experience

Babcock is proud to nurture and encourage future generations of Australia’s aviation community.

The following article was published in the Spring 2020 Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA) ‘Wings’ Magazine. You can access the full issue here.

During a pilot experience flight activity in February, cadets from No.413 Squadron visited the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) facility at Warrnambool airfield to learn more about pathways to potential aviation careers.

Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are operated for Ambulance Victoria by Air Ambulance Victoria (AAV), based at Essendon Airport and strategic locations throughout regional Victoria. Warrnambool’s HEMS4 has been providing an air ambulance service to south-west Victoria since July 2009.

Since 2015, the AAV fleet has comprised Agusta Westland AW139 twin-engine helicopters, capable of transporting two stretcher patients at a time. The helicopters are used to respond to everything from major trauma incidents and life-threatening medical emergencies, to search and rescue operations. They also transfer critically ill patients to major Melbourne hospitals. The cadets learnt the mantra, “Every second counts in a life-threatening emergency”.

The Commanding Officer of No.413 Squadron, based out of Tel el Eisa Barracks in Warrnambool, PLTOFF(AAFC) Jane McDonald said:

“The HEMS crew gave 413 SON a fantastic briefing and then the cadets got in the cockpit, had a go on the winch simulator and even got to wash the helicopter.

“There were many, many questions and the HEMS team were fantastic and very gracious with their time.”

The tour was arranged by Matt Doyle, a flying instructor with the Elementary Flying Training School of Aviation Operations Wing, AAFC. Matt, now a SQNLDR in the Air Force Reserve, is also Executive Officer of No.418 Squadron, AAFC, an ADF Recruiting Officer and an Air Ambulance pilot.

Matt and the aircrewmen are employed by Babcock Mission Critical Services Australasia in support of AAV.

“We discussed career pathways for ADF aviation roles, as well as civil aviation roles (including pilot, aircrew and engineer),” Matt said.

In addition, Andrew Osborne, a Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance Flight Paramedic with HEMS4, spoke with the group about careers in paramedicine, including the study required to become a flight paramedic.



This article was published in the Spring 2020 RAAFA ‘Wings’ Magazine. You can access the full issue here.

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