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Mayor and GCCC lifeguards get dunked by CareFlight

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and four Council lifeguards got a hands-on introduction to RACQ CareFlight Rescue when they were dunked in the Miami Aquatic Centre pool for helicopter underwater escape training (HUET) today.

The fearless lifeguards were strapped into a custom-built helicopter simulator, dropped by a crane to the bottom of the pool and then rolled upside down.

Specialist instructors from CareFlight’s training division helped the participants learn how to safely escape the helicopter cabin during the simulated exercises.

The renowned Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) course forms part of a week-long program for the four selected Gold Coast City Council lifeguards, who will commence work on RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters for off-shore and over water rescues from next week.

Each year CareFlight provides HUET training to more than 5000 individuals across Australia which includes pilots and doctors for emergency air-medical retrieval, Australian Defence Force personnel and broadcast camera operators.

The new CareFlight recruits will spend the rest of the week practicing over-land helicopter winching, water-winching and studying theory at CareFlight’s own Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Academy at Varsity Lakes.

The initiative to re-introduce lifeguards on ocean and water missions was developed by CareFlight and the Gold Coast City Council.

Mayor Tom Tate who has championed the program joined the new recruits in their training.