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SAR Technical Crew

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SAR Technical Crew

Old 15th May 2021, 12:54
  #1 (permalink)  
jm9
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SAR Technical Crew

Hi all,

I'm currently a military rotary crew member and have been for a number of years. I am interested in SAR which as I'm sure most of you know in the UK is now mostly run by Bristow Helicopters, although I know Babcock and CHC also have a contract. My question to you all is, how many years/hours of experience is needed to transfer to civilian SAR as either winch operator or winchman? What sort of experience are they looking for? I know that they now like their winchmen to be registered paramedics, is this a prerequisite or something that can be achieved through the company? I hardly ever see Bristow advertising, is it more of a who you know and asking the company directly than waiting for a vacancy to arise?

Thanks all for your help

J
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Old 15th May 2021, 15:29
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This is what went out from Bristow in 2014.
==================================
Minimum experience and qualifications:
3 months’ previous experience on a dedicated SAR unit as a Winchman on helicopters
50 hours as Winchman on helicopters
20 hours operating experience in helicopters gained in an operational environment similar to the intended operation
HCPC registered Paramedic
A safe flying record
A clean criminal record
The right to reside and work in the UK
The successful applicant will be in contact with US ITAR controlled technology, goods and information. As a condition of employment, employees with access to US ITAR controlled technology and goods will be required to undergo an additional screening process as part of the recruitment process
==================================

The following is from the 2019 Cadetship advertising.
==================================
Essential Requirements:
Right to permanently live and work in the UK
HCPC registered Paramedic
Full UK/EU driving licence
Five GCSEs at grade C or above including Maths, English
and a Science (or equivalent academic qualification)
Current passport holder

Key Attributes
Physically fit, Professionally competent, Authoritative, Resilient, Capable, Emotionally strong, Problem solver, Calm, Good communicator, Reflective, Flexible, Leader, Self-motivated, Lateral thinker, Ambassador, Mentally agile, Accountable, Adaptable.
==================================

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Old 16th May 2021, 08:26
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I believe Bristow are running light on technical crew so it might be worth starting the conversation with them. In the mean time start learning anatomy and physiology if you are going to be a paramedic.
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Old 16th May 2021, 11:47
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How did the cadetship go in the end? Are they likely to recruit paramedics again?
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Old 16th May 2021, 13:47
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You have to be an ex RAF or FAA helps as well, as the "old boy" secret handshake network is in force. Won't last forever though as those types are a dying breed now as there is no Mil output. Better chance of going overseas and cutting your teeth outside of UK first.
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Old 16th May 2021, 15:46
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jm9
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Thanks for all the advice and info here, should help me a lot.
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Old 17th May 2021, 06:51
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Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
You need to be a qualified paramedic to get a look in.
Not as a Winch Operator you don’t.
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Old 17th May 2021, 13:40
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Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
They have recruiting programs for qualified paramedics to become winchmen. Not seen any programs or offers for winch op.
Watch this space.
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Old 26th May 2021, 08:35
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For the OP (as 'promised' by TUPE):

https://bristow.wd1.myworkdayjobs.co...Crew_R-0001937


"Bristow Helicopters UK Search and Rescue are inviting applications from qualified and experienced SAR technical crew for our Stornoway base, in the roles of :
  • Winch Operator

  • Winch Paramedic



Qualification requirements for both roles
  • Hold or be qualified to hold a valid UK SAR Tech Crew Attestation (TCA) in accordance with CAP 999;
  • Comply with all the requirements of CAP 999;
  • Comply with the specified requirements of Part-MED i.e. holding a valid class 2 medical.
  • Have Level 4 English language proficiency


Experience Requirements



Winch Operators
  • Winch Operators with at least one year’s experience in a dedicated military or civilian SAR unit.
  • Experience in prehospital care is essential; the individual will be assessed as to their ability to hold a medical technician scope of practice as defined by Bristow.


Winch Paramedic
  • Winch Paramedic with at least 3 month’s experience in a dedicated military or civilian SAR unit.
  • Successful applicants must hold a current HCPC registration as a Paramedic.


All applicants must be currently eligible to work and live in the UK. All Applicants should submit a CV and cover letter, clearly indicating which role they are applying for."
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Old 26th May 2021, 10:28
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From LinkedIn:

Air Rescue UK is recruiting SAR TC for our All Weather dedicated SAR Operation in the Falkland Islands and other global positions. The nature of the existing contracts means we must recruit based on experience and qualification. Please see the attached for minimum qualifications and how to apply.

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update...7381477445632/

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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 07:47
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Originally Posted by TUPE View Post
Watch this space.
Presumably there's still a reasonable number of military SAR crew available if they are able to advertise for experienced TC? Do you think they will continue with the experienced paramedic route for ab initio winch operators as well in the future?
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 08:47
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Presumably there's still a reasonable number of military SAR crew available if they are able to advertise for experienced TC? Do you think they will continue with the experienced paramedic route for ab initio winch operators as well in the future?
There is no front-line SAR in the UK military now (apart from 84 Sqn in Cyprus). Most went to Bristow when the service was privatised. Few outside of UK SAR will have kept up their professional medical qualifications.

Ambulance technician level was what was required for winch operators - paramedic is for winchmen.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 09:21
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
There is no front-line SAR in the UK military now (apart from 84 Sqn in Cyprus). Most went to Bristow when the service was privatised. Few outside of UK SAR will have kept up their professional medical qualifications.

Ambulance technician level was what was required for winch operators - paramedic is for winchmen.
Sorry for not being clear in my previous post. I appreciate there's no longer any SAR units but was just wondering if Bristow were counting on folk who hadn't previously transferred (hence asking for a year experience for winch op). Now with the only route towards being a paramedic being a full time degree will that mean the end of the "technician" role? Do you think the emphasis will be purely on employing health care professionals and not those who may have more of an aviation background? I know there's a long tradition of some excellent rear crew working for Bristow/CHC who weren't initially paramedics and was just wondering if this route will be closed off in the future to all those who aren't HCPC registered etc.
​​​
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 18:01
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I know there's a long tradition of some excellent rear crew working for Bristow/CHC who weren't initially paramedics and was just wondering if this route will be closed off in the future to all those who aren't HCPC registered etc.
All the military SAR paramedics were taken from basic first aid to paramedic qualified in-house (although much was sub-contracted). This is expensive and takes a long time.

The fashion and thinking is definitely to take qualified paramedics and teach them to be winchmen, even if some of this is outsourced too.

A 'year of experience as a winch-op' is as open to abuse and broad interpretation as calling yourself a SAR pilot so some strict professional filters will have to be applied. Not sure about the implications for the technician qualification.
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 18:08
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As for tempting people out of the military, they don't pay enough and you will almost certainly end up in the locations no-one else wants.
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Old 4th Jun 2021, 07:00
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
As for tempting people out of the military, they don't pay enough and you will almost certainly end up in the locations no-one else wants.
Many thanks for your replies. Is the pay differential that significant? It seems a shame that in the future the only option to get into the rear of a SAR cab will be via a university degree but I suppose it's the way that every profession is going these days. Good luck to whoever gets selected for the winch operator jobs in Sumburgh and Stornoway. It would be interesting to hear what sort of background they had.
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Old 4th Jun 2021, 16:12
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Most of the RAF rearcrew were a minimum of Sgt and many were FSgt or MACr - that would give a pay range (including flying pay) of mid to top 40K to well over 50K. ISTR the starting salary for Bristow was 35K with some additional paramedic pay.

Considering the rearcrew are the ones who get their hands dirty and are at the risky business end of SAR, I have always thought that level of remuneration derisory and could only have been approved by ex-pilots - the SAR Captain salary was circa £95K which was a big step up for many leaving the RAF who were Sqn Ldr or Flt Lt on between 60K and 70K. The claim they had to offer parity with N Sea pay was cobblers.

The degree requirement has reduced the numbers of nurses going into the profession and will probably do the same for paramedics since the pay doesn't reflect the post-graduate earning capability one might expect.

I wouldn't be surprised if Bristow try desperately to undercut all the other bidders in the SAR 2G competition, they know they can rely on Ch 11 bankruptcy in the US to resolve any shortfall in cashflow once the contract is won.
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