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Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Mon Apr 2 2018, 05:07
by Rapattack
Hi all, I hope everyone's having a good easter break.

I'm new to this forum, I have been viewing it for quite a while as a guest. So I thought I'd let you all know who I am and what I'm on here for. I also know this subject has been spoken of a lot, I'm sorry if you all are sick of it.

I am a 29 year-old Australian, I have four seasons experience as a rappel capable forest firefighter in Canada. I am looking for a rescue swimmer job anywhere in Australia. I'm currently living in Perth but am willing to relocate.

I am a hard worker, who believes that a job should be done right the first time. I am open to opinions on how to better do a task and further my knowledge. I am decisive and work well in high stress and complicated scenarios and have great problem solving skills. I am incredibly motivated and I enjoy being pushed mentally and physically to become a better and more valuable team member.

I have a passion for being active, outdoors. Aviation, firefighting, Search and Rescue, Skydiving and staying fit and healthy. I exercise 5-6 days a week, including weights, running, swimming, so I am trying to get as prepared as can be for the fitness testing.

I have 178 live rappels and 100's of training/tower rappels, just over 496 hours of flight crew time, mainly in B 205/212/212s and a few hours in AS350 B2. All logbook certified. I have experience in flight planning, heli safety, communication systems, map reading/flight following.

I have the following certs/tickets; Restricted Aeronautical radio operator (Canadian), TDG, EMR(Canadian), Advanced first aid, Bronze medallion, CASA Class2 Medical. I plan on doing a HUET course soon.

From all the research I've done it seems that there is no real consensus on the crewman/ Air crewman courses. I can not afford a course at the moment, but am willing to do one in the near future if that is what perspective employers are looking for. I have emailed a lot of the heli companies that employ rescue crews and am going to visit the local hangers.

A few questions; Does anyone know if there are companies that don't require rescue swimmers to be dual certified as Air crewman? Where is the best place to look for jobs, are they advertised or more word of mouth? Any advice/opinions/feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you everyone, in advance. I appreciate all of your help and time.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Mon Apr 2 2018, 06:32
by FerrariFlyer
Being Perth based I’d contact CHC who have an RAAF SAR base close by at Bullsbrook and they employ down the wire rescue crewman for that contract. Locally there is also a local Surf Life Saving Association helicopter that will have volunteer down the wire staff but likely a cast of thousands lined up for a start along with some beach patrol experience. Your experience to date may help bypass them.

Having had some exposure to helicopters already that should be a good thing for your application. QG Air in QLD also employ down the wire crewman though it’s normally a case of having to know someone there to get a foot in the door.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Mon Apr 2 2018, 07:27
by Rapattack
Thanks FerrariFlyer,

I should have mentioned I have put my application into CHC a few months back when they were advertising for "Registration of interest for Rescue crewman". Still yet to hear anything back, but I will visit their hanger, I wasn't sure if it was out near the RAAF base or in Jandakot. So thanks for that. Thank you for your advice.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Mon Apr 2 2018, 09:10
by bladepitch
Babcock Mission Critical Services employ rescue swimmers for a number of contracts through out Australia. Their office is in adelaide..

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Mon Apr 2 2018, 10:11
by Eric Hunt
Tetleys always need more teabags...

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Wed Apr 4 2018, 00:52
by FerrariFlyer
Rapattack wrote:Thanks FerrariFlyer,

I should have mentioned I have put my application into CHC a few months back when they were advertising for "Registration of interest for Rescue crewman". Still yet to hear anything back, but I will visit their hanger, I wasn't sure if it was out near the RAAF base or in Jandakot. So thanks for that. Thank you for your advice.


CHC also have a hangar at Jandakot where they have an EMS/SAR base. Most people in the industry are happy to share some of their experiences and provide some assistance to you if they aren't too busy. Consider calling the base or visiting to arrange a time to have a chat with one of the crewman there. You will not be able to access the RAAF base for the same reasons however I would recommend chasing your application and staying in regular contact for upcoming vacancies.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Wed Apr 4 2018, 04:24
by Rapattack
bladepitch wrote:Babcock Mission Critical Services employ rescue swimmers for a number of contracts through out Australia. Their office is in adelaide..


Thanks for that bladepitch. I will look into that.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Thu Apr 5 2018, 12:22
by Rapattack
FerrariFlyer wrote:
Rapattack wrote:Thanks FerrariFlyer,

I should have mentioned I have put my application into CHC a few months back when they were advertising for "Registration of interest for Rescue crewman". Still yet to hear anything back, but I will visit their hanger, I wasn't sure if it was out near the RAAF base or in Jandakot. So thanks for that. Thank you for your advice.


CHC also have a hangar at Jandakot where they have an EMS/SAR base. Most people in the industry are happy to share some of their experiences and provide some assistance to you if they aren't too busy. Consider calling the base or visiting to arrange a time to have a chat with one of the crewman there. You will not be able to access the RAAF base for the same reasons however I would recommend chasing your application and staying in regular contact for upcoming vacancies.


Thanks for your advice, I'll call them and go visit. It seems like I'll have to be the squeaky wheel in this scenario.

Re: Rescue Swimmer / Down the wire jobs

Posted: Thu Jun 14 2018, 11:39
by Rapattack
Hi all again, I know this is probably not the correct place to post this, but thought I'd just keep all my posts together regarding the same topic.

Just a quick update; I have now transferred my radio operator certificate over to a CASA certified AROC and have completed a CRM course. I've visited the CHC hanger at Jandakot and had a good chat with the Air crewman and have sent out my resume to as many companies as I can find. I am currently on a wait list for a AVI-HUET course (there are none being run at the moment due to lack of interest). Question; is it important to do the AVI- HUET course or would a regular HUET course be acceptable? Are some HUET training companies viewed as more preferable over others?
If any of you wonderful people have any other advice or contacts, I'd very much appreciate it.

Thanks again.