Pre-course Preparation

Training of new retrieval physicians and paramedics is intensive and challenging. Those who have not managed to successfully complete it in the past did not complete the pre-course preparatory work. It is recommended that this is started a month prior to induction, as it takes several hours to complete and should be covered more than once to optimise recall.

The content and philosophy of our training is described here

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
This is accessed at You require a username and password which will be emailed to you.

You need to enrol in the following classes:
Prehospital Trauma Care
Prehospital Scene Management
Ultrasound Detection of Pneumothorax
Major Incidents
Life, Limb & Sight Saving Procedures
Safety, Quality and Human Factors

For overseas registrars, some handy hints on preparing to live and work in Australia are contained in the class ‘Welcome Guide for New Registrars‘. This has not been updated for a while but the principles are sound.

In addition, physicians should enrol in:
Advanced Airway Skills
Respectful workplace video (NSW Ambulance paramedics have already done this)
Oxylog 3000 Plus Retrieval Ventilator

New Helicopter Paramedics are welcome to also access these modules.

This video explains how to enrol in classes on the VLE:

This user guide for students explains more about using the online training website (it isn’t necessary to read this)

Policies & Procedures
The Helicopter Operating Procedures must be learned, along with the Prehospital Emergency Anaesthesia Manual.

Interhospital retrieval
For orientation in interhospital retrieval, please watch the following video:


You may also find it helpful to listen to Sydney HEMS podcasts.
If you’re an iTunes user, the link is here

Non-clinical helicopter training
See the resources on our Helicopter Training Information page. You will not need to know this for the clinical induction but it will help to have read through it prior to your helicopter winch training.

General reading
We recommend:
ABC of Prehospital Emergency Medicine
ABC of Transfer and Retrieval Medicine
Cases in Pre-hospital and Retrieval Medicine

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