Peter Davidson is a humble man but a remarkable Australian. On December 26th 1998, 114 Yachts left Sydney harbour in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race- only 44 finished. Of the remaining vessels, 12 yachts were abandoned, 5 yachts sank, 6 men lost their lives and over 50 yachtsmen had to be winched to safety. The event is recognised as one of the worst Maritime disasters in Australian history.
For over 16 years Peter has been employed by the RAV (Rural Ambulance Victoria). For over 12 of those years, he has been aboard “Helimed One” the Victorian Air Ambulance Rescue Helicopter. Peter is a qualified Air Ambulance M.I.C.A., Flight Paramedic and Team Leader. Peter Davidson, paramedic aboard the first rescue helicopter to reach survivors, talks about what it took to rescue 8 men from the stricken vessel “Standaside” in the midst of some of the worst conditions in sailing history. Sea conditions described by many of the survivors and rescuers as ‘a Hurricane’ – waves running and breaking at over 25 metres (that’s as tall as a six story building) and winds gusting at over 120 km per hr. Conditions into which Peter was winched to conduct the most testing rescues of his career.
Peter and the crew of Helimed One undertook rescues which are seen as beyond that ever asked of rescue helicopters. The crew has been recognised nationally and internationally for their bravery, skill and dedication. As Peter relates ‘Awards and recognition are great, but nothing was better than the smiles on the faces of the survivors and their families’.
This is a powerful and moving story of showing the best of what ordinary, well trained and motivated people can achieve. Peter shares this incredible story in which he himself almost lost his life twice. A gripping, real- life drama that tested Helimed One and stands testament to achieving under extreme circumstances. A story of success and achievement that explores themes including:
• Adapting to a changing environment
• The power of preparation, training, planning, systems, teamwork and trust.
• Training not luck
• How to perform under pressure
• Overcoming failure –‘ From failure to success’
• Managing risk, managing fear and calculated risk
• Expect the unexpected
• Persistence & Determination
References: “A sensational presentation which inspired us all” Australian Financial Services
“Peter gave a very moving and motivating presentation and with the Q & A at the end we were able to draw out key messages/objectives of the presentation as we needed.” McKinsey & Company
“Excellent. Most enthralling”. Financial Planning Association (FPA)