13 Years In The Air Wing

Cameron Hardiman wrote a book about his time in Victoria Police, and while it reminded him of amazing missions, it also helped him deal with the trauma that came with them

CAMERON HARDIMAN joined Victoria Police at the age of 18 and spent over three decades policing. Part of those years was in the Air Wing, where he was involved in countless rescue missions. His memories are now displayed in a book he wrote, called Ten Feet Tall and Not Quite Bulletproof: Drug Busts and Helicopter Rescues – One Cop’s Extraordinary True Story. Australian Aviation spoke to Hardiman about his times in the Victoria Police Air Wing and what life is like now.

THE POLICE ‘AIR AMBULANCE’ ORIGINALLY WAS A CONTRACT UNDER A COMMISSIONER, MICK MILLER, BACK IN THE MID-’80S, where we bought a police helicopter and wanted to buy another one in the air to get 24-hour coverage, but it wasn’t financially viable. But the ambulance wanted to have aero-medial retrievals as well, so they got their heads together and said, “Why don’t the police force buy it, and stick a paramedic on it with our crews so they can do ambulance work as long as we can do our police work?” We could have an air ambulance going out to a fatal accident at two in the morning with the police crew, and if on the way back there was a car chase with a stolen car, we could do that too because there’s a copper on board.

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