My name is Andrew Allen. I'm a MICA flight paramedic educator. I've been at Air Ambulance for nearly 15 years now - been a paramedic for nearly 28.
Being a volunteer in the MSAR sector helped me immensely so when I commenced with Southern Peninsula Rescue they operated a helicopter. I learned skills around flying and rescuing people.
One of the big things is the non-technical skill - so how to work well within the team, how to be able to speak up if we're not comfortable with something that's happening. So all of those skills are working in a small team, and it's definitely carried on and helped me in my professional career now.
I think the camaraderie associated with working in small teams and this type of environments is really good. Most of my lifelong best friends and even my wife I met through the MSAR sector. Also, there's no greater sense of satisfaction than knowing you've been able to help someone who's in real distress or potentially even actually save another human's life.
The attributes of people working in the MSAR are obviously liking the water and being out on a vessel is probably one of the key things. Doesn't necessarily mean you need experience when you start but at least a desire to learn those skills and be comfortable out on the water is really quite important.