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March 9, 2021

Friendly new faces on the chopper

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Two new doctors and two paramedics have joined the medical retrieval team at Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

Doctors Danielle Wood and Rob Boyd, along with paramedics Ian Murphy and Col Benstead, will work with the rescue helicopter’s pilots and crew during the service’s missions.

The two doctors are part of the emergency department team at Lismore Base Hospital and are sharing the role at the helicopter.

The two paramedics are based with the NSW Health Lismore Ambulance Service and are being trained in helicopter rescue and retrieval techniques 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,’ he said.

‘However, Roger is very safety focused, which is reassuring for the crew members.’

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

‘It’s different from working in a hospital. You are doing things you’re not used to doing in an unfamiliar environment.’

The doctors will be based at the Lismore helibase and the paramedics are called to the base when the helicopter service is tasked to a mission by the Medical Retrieval Unit in Sydney.

Image: Medical retrieval team: (l to r) Dr Danielle Wood, paramedic Ian Murphy, Dr Rob Boyd, and paramedic Col Benstead ready for training in helicopter rescue techniques.


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