Life Saving Victoria have welcomed Rachael Moloney aboard as their newest recruit of the helicopter crew.
Ms Moloney joined Williamstown Swimming & Lifesaving Club as a Nipper in 2002 and competed in senior carnivals before discovering her passion for IRB racing in 2011.
It was through IRB racing Ms Moloney continued to up her lifesaving qualifications before the opportunity to transition from the sea to the skies arose.
“Initially I hadn’t thought too much about joining the helicopter crew but with lockdown last year there was not too much else to do, so I saw the opportunity and gave it a crack,” Ms Moloney said.
“I know a few people that have worked on the helicopter crew and they talk about how it’s a great experience and a supportive team to get into.”
Ms Moloney, who works as a paramedic for Ambulance Victoria, has been training with the Life Saving Victoria helicopter crew for one month now and will soon start shifts as an official crew member.
“My first two days or so I will be working as an extra person on the helicopter observing how the crew works together,” she said.
“From there, I’ll be rostered on as a crew member, with responsibilities including being the one winched down to assess patients, assist them back into the helicopter and get any assistance required on the ground.”
Ms Moloney’s drive to help others and first aid skills led her to pursuing her paramedics career, from which she brings valuable skills to the Life Saving Victoria helicopter crew.
“Having experience as a paramedic has been a help in determining the best way to extricate a patient and the best action plan if they do have injuries,” Ms Moloney said.
“My favourite part of training so far is that everyone is really supportive and works closely as a team. Also, flying is pretty cool!”
Ms Moloney sees lifesaving as a key part of her future, be it in the helicopter crew, patrolling or education side of the organisation.
“My goals for helicopter training are learning as much as I can from the team. Everybody is eager to help and teach me the different ways of doing things,” Ms Moloney said.
“It would be awesome to have more females on the helicopter, the team is so accepting and encouraging so it’s a good environment to strive to work in.”