Rescue helicopter crews land night flying exercises in preparation

'IRREFUTABLE CASE' HAS 24-HOUR RESCUE HELICOPTER SERVICE READY TO TAKE FLIGHT

THE sound of the Ambulance Service of NSW rescue helicopter flying in the night sky on the weekend was a reassuring sound for residents as crews practised night-flying using the latest technology.

The central west received a 24-hour on-call rescue helicopter on Friday, with pilots, doctors and paramedics taking part in the exercise, practising night landings and take-offs in between medical retrievals.

Station manager and senior paramedic Nathan Croft says crews have been working at every opportunity to enhance their night flying skills.

“We have been using the Mount Canobolas area to land and take off as part of that training,” he said.

“The start of the night flying, with the training and using sophisticated technology, is an exciting time.”

The helicopter crew typically consists of a pilot, a navigation and non-flying crew member who assists the pilot, a paramedic and a doctor.

Until recently Careflight supplied doctors for the helicopters, however, the Ambulance Service of NSW has begun appointing its own doctors.

Mr Croft said although the Orange-based helicopter has the capacity to fly two patients in certain circumstances, the majority of flights involve one patient on board.

janice.harris@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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