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Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service typically patrols Victoria’s busy coastline between Wilson’s Prom and Apollo Bay as well as providing valuable back-up support for other state emergencies and search and rescue (SAR) operations across the whole of Victoria. The service is available year round to assist in any emergency.

Scheduled aerial patrols of the coastline will operate on weekends and public holidays from late Spring through to Autumn, with increased daily patrols operating throughout the busiest Summer period from the 24th of December to the 26th of January.

Funded by the generous support of Westpac, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter in Victoria are equipped to assist in incidents such as shark patrols, beacon location (EPIRB homing), winch rescues, SAR of lost swimmers, missing boats and fishermen in distress, as well as providing support in inland emergencies.

On board the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter will be team of dedicated volunteers from Life Saving Victoria and a highly trained pilot.

Lifesaver 30 Facts

Lifesaver 30 Facts:

  • Call sign Lifesaver 30
  • Aircraft – Airbus H135 P2+
  • Based at Moorabbin Airport (Melbourne) or Barwon Heads Airport
  • Twin Pratt & Whitney Canada Turbine Engines
  • Winch Rescue Equipped
  • EPIRB homer equipped
  • Rescue Configuration – 3 crewmembers (Pilot, Winch Operator, Rescue Crew)
  • Transport Configuration – Standard configuration fits up to 4 passengers with Single Pilot
  • Maximum cruising speed of 220 km/h (120 kts)
  • Maximum range without reserve of 610 km/330 KN
  • Average endurance of 2hr15m
Pathways - Becoming Involved

Becoming Involved:

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service is proudly crewed by volunteer lifesavers from Victorian Lifesaving Clubs.

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Crew recruitments are run on an as needs basis, and so are not necessarily run annually. On some occasions there can even be over 2-3 years between intakes. Opportunities to join the WLRHS are advertised via the LSV Circulars as per previous recruitments – link to 2018 recruitment circular.

In general the selection process is highly competitive, with an ever-increasing number of applicants for only a small number of positions available.

A summary of the minimum, criteria, qualifications and fitness required is listed below.

As we develop the service from intake to intake, minimum requirement can change, and the requirements listed below should be taken as a guide from previous intakes only. It’s also important to note that meeting the minimum requirements by no way guarantees selection also.

To be suitable to submit an application you must meet the following minimum criteria in line with LSV’s operational requirements:

  • Be a minimum 19 years of age
  • Have a maximum body weight of 90kg
  • Be a current financial and proficient member of a Life Saving Victoria affiliated Life Saving Club or Service.
  • Have completed a minimum of three (3) years active beach patrol in Victoria
  • Have an excellent record of patrol attendance
  • Have excellent teamwork skills
  • Current Driver’s License
  • Current Working with Children Check
  • Be proficient in the minimum awards as outlined below
  • Attend and pass the helicopter crew fitness tests
  • Gain endorsement from Club President, Secretary or Club Captain
  • Be willing to undertake drug and alcohol testing at commencement of training and each rostered patrol
Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications:

As we develop the service from intake to intake, minimum requirement can change, and the requirements listed below should be taken as a guide from previous intakes only. It’s also important to note that meeting the minimum requirements by no way guarantees selection into the service.

  • Bronze Medallion
  • Advanced Resuscitation Techniques [AID]
  • First Aid [AID]
  • Demonstrated IRB & RWC experience and previous participation at Advanced Lifesaving Camp are not mandatory but are well-regarded skillsets for crew members.
Helicopter Crew Fitness/Operational Test Requirements

Helicopter Crew Fitness/Operational Test Requirements:

The fitness test criteria are continually being reassessed in light of the evolving nature of the service. The tests are additional to those normally associated with lifesaving activities. They have and will continue to be designed to ensure that all crew can demonstrate the physical endurance and strength required to safely and efficiently carry out Helicopter crew duties.

  • 400m swim within a time limit of no more than seven (7) minutes and thirty (30) seconds
  • 1.6km run within a time limit of no more than seven (7) minutes
  • Departure off an elevated platform (being comfortable at heights)
  • 5 x wide grip pull ups
  • 15 Push Ups
  • One Person Patient Drag on land
  • 300m 80kg rescue training dummy tow in pool
  • Retrieve object from pool depth of 5m
  • Complete the mission: 400m swim, 800m run, 400m rescue board paddle, 800m run in succession in under 25min

 

 

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