RESCUE PRACTICE: A CQ Rescue crew member being winched onto a vessel at Mackay Harbour port.
RESCUE PRACTICE: A CQ Rescue crew member being winched onto a vessel at Mackay Harbour port. Contributed

Meet the 21yo training to save lives by air and ocean

CALLUM Good has no ordinary job.

At 21, the Sydney-born rescue crewman works day to day, assisting in search and rescues, emergency and counter disaster operations in the region.

On any given day he could be flying to Dysart or Proserpine, out 200 nautical miles winching someone off the reef or recovering someone from Finch Hatton Gorge.

"You really never know what you're going to get in a day's work," he said.

 

DREAM JOB: Callum Good, 21, always wanted to be a CQ Rescue crewman.
DREAM JOB: Callum Good, 21, always wanted to be a CQ Rescue crewman. Tara Cassidy

"And that's why I love it, I like the diversity of the job... it's hard to get into but it was always an ambition of mine since I was working as a volunteer."

Mr Good began working as a lifeguard in Sydney, volunteering with the ambulance and SES service and then finally acquired a full time job as a CQ Rescue Crewman, like he had always dreamed.

He was one of nine crewmen who had to undergo intense half yearly training at the Mackay Port at the weekend, along with volunteers from the Mackay Marine Rescue.

During their training, crew learnt to undertake water rescue operations, such as being winched down into a boat or the water from a helicopter that hovers overhead.

 

RESCUE MISSION: Crewman being winched onto the back of a vessel at Mackay Harbour port.
RESCUE MISSION: Crewman being winched onto the back of a vessel at Mackay Harbour port. Contributed

"Yesterday was all water stuff, training to retrieve people out of the water if a boat went down or someone fell overboard for example," he said.

"It's learning how to get people out of the water with a rescue chopper, we put a paramedic and rescue swimmer on the back of a moving boat and then we package and prepare to retrieve a dummy acting as a patient back up into the aircraft.

"Yesterday (Saturday) I acted as the swimmer... we did about three and a half hours on the water each day."

According to Mr Good, each hour flying in one of the rescue helicopters is equal to $3500 in fuel consumption, that's $23,000 in fuel over the two days just for training.

"So when we go to Townsville for a job, that's about a $30,000 job, it costs about $8million a year all up," he said.

"And we have both six and 12 monthly training."

 

CQ RESCUE: Callum works on rescue and emergency missions all over Central Queensland.
CQ RESCUE: Callum works on rescue and emergency missions all over Central Queensland. Tara Cassidy


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