Aircrew duo awarded prestigious SAPOL Commendation

Two Babcock Australasia (Babcock) aircrew have been recognised for their recovery and first aid efforts to rescue a driver whose vehicle was driven into the Murray River in South Australia.

Senior Base Pilot, Adam Richter, and Senior Base Aircrew Officer, Sam Fielder, were awarded the Commissioner’s Community Policing Commendation by South Australian Police (SAPOL) Deputy Commissioner, Linda Williams, at a ceremony at Babcock’s hangar at Adelaide Airport.

During a SAPOL search operation near Bowhill in September, Babcock’s aircrew, together with two SAPOL Officers, recovered the driver after his vehicle went off a cliff into the river. 

As the first responders to the incident, Richter and Fielder provided immediate first aid before transporting the injured driver to a location where he could be treated by a SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) Special Operations Team Paramedic. They then transported the patient to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

SAPOL Officer in Charge Special Tasks and Rescue Group (STAR Group), Craig Wall, said the Babcock aircrew are well deserving of this recognition.

“The Commissioners Community Policing Commendation is in recognition of outstanding commitment and professionalism in assisting police, as we saw from Adam and Sam in September,” Officer Wall said.

“We’re pleased to see the teamwork and high level of aviation ability and initiative which exists between SAPOL and Babcock, particularly when the safety of our community and police officers is at stake.”

Babcock Australasia’s Senior Base Pilot, Adam Richter, said he and Senior Base Aircrew Officer, Sam Fielder, responded to the situation at hand in line with their extensive military and emergency response training, commitment to the task at hand and focus on safe practices.

“Sam and I have worked with Babcock Australasia for a combined 23 years and understand the importance of responding quickly and deftly when the safety of others is at risk,” Mr Richter said.

“This incident required the versatility and adaptability of our crew in partnership with SAPOL, working together to manage a quickly evolving situation.”

Richter’s experience draws on a highly-respected 20 year career with the Australian Army, where he served as a helicopter pilot. Within his role at Babcock, Richter applies the skills and experience gained during service to help keep the South Australian community safe through Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS).

Babcock Australasia’s Managing Director – Aviation & Critical Services, Darren Moncrieff, is proud to see the partnership and close teamwork between the government agencies in action and commends the two Babcock aircrew on their service.

“Babcock has worked together with SAPOL and SAAS since 2005, maintaining and operating the helicopter fleet to support safe flying missions,” Mr Moncrieff said.

“Our people play a critical role every day in supporting our nation’s emergency services in keeping communities safe and responding to high-risk, and sometimes life-threatening, situations.”

“Congratulations to Adam and Sam on this recognition and for continuing to embody our spirit of service.”

The proceedings were attended by key representatives from the South Australian Police (SAPOL), including Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams and Assistant Commissioner Noel Bamford.