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Investigating the Past to Improve the Future: Training Paramedics to conduct Safety Investigations


Cameron Edgar / Troy Anforth
New South Wales Ambulance Rescue Helicopters


Superintendent Cameron Edgar is the Zone Manager for the NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopters. His role sees him managing the day-to-day operations of ambulance rescue helicopters and their medical teams responding to remote areas, canyons, cliff, cave and aquatic search and rescue missions. Cameron has been a paramedic for 23 years and is a Critical Care Helicopter Paramedic and member of the NSW Ambulance Special Casualty Access Team. Cameron has a strong interest in systems that focus on human factors to achieve high quality outcomes and safety.


Helicopter medical crews are expected to maintain high end medical care as well as their aviation skill sets. As medicine has evolved, so too has our understanding of the role humans play in systems and within errors.

So, how do you capture this aspect of aeromedical operations and more importantly, make sure that the lessons are applied to improve future operations?

Since 2013, the NSW aeromedical retrieval service has developed an Integrated Risk and Safety Management System, that among many things, has established a formal safety investigation process that employs paramedics specially trained in aviation investigation methodology.

This presentation provides an overview of the investigation process and how its establishment actively allows the past to improve the future.



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