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Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania - Chief Crewman Sergeant Damian Bidgood

Damian Bidgood

Sergeant

Damian has a long and experienced history in search and rescue operations in Tasmania.

In 1992 when he joined the force, he also trained as a police diver and became part of the Police Search and Rescue Land Squad. This area of police work turned into a passion, and in 1994 he became a full time member of the Police Search and Rescue in Hobart, trained as a helicopter crew member and also attended the National Police Search and Rescue Coordinators’ course in Brisbane.

After becoming a helicopter crew instructor in 2000, Damian was assigned the Crew Chief duties in 2002. He is currently the Crew Chief for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter as well as the Sergeant in charge of helicopter operations and crew training for Tasmania Police and Ambulance Tasmania.

The highly trained and qualified crew members are an invaluable support to the pilots and each crew member continues their specialist training throughout the year.  Damian says the work that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team does each day is critical.

“I consider the rescue helicopter service as a vital resource for the Tasmanian people, which has a wide range of capabilities in land searching and rescue, water searching and rescue, night vision and FLIR capability, hospital transfer and road crash retrieval capability,” he said.

He is passionate about his job, his state and his crew members - and he says the team’s philosophy is very simple when it comes to rescue missions.

“It doesn’t matter who they are, we’ll go and get them. We’ll get them back to help, we’ll get them back to a hospital, we’ll get them back to their families. That’s it.”

Damian is part of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service’s highly-professional crew of pilots, air crew, ground crew, police, paramedics and divers that covers Tasmania’s often remote coastline and rugged inland terrain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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