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Episode 178 [Full] Rick Woolford USCG Rescue Swimmer 03

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Episode Description

In this episode of The Real ResQ, host Jason Quinn is joined by Rick Woolford, U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer 03.

Woolford, being one of the first five rescue swimmers in the U.S. Coast Guard, shares his journey from joining the Coast Guard to becoming a rescue swimmer. He discusses his background in water activities and law enforcement, as well as his experience in Navy Rescue Swimmer School.

Woolford shares his experiences with equipment and training as the rescue swimmer program continued to grow. He remembers his first rescue as a rescue swimmer, and it just so happened to be the very first rescue of a rescue swimmer since the program’s inception. It was a daytime rescue out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina. A person was in the water and couldn’t get into the basket, which required Woolford to get into the water.

Woolford went on to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) and flight school while serving as a pilot in Alaska. He recalls a rescue mission in Canada where he and his crew saved nine people from the icy waters and rocky shore. This rescue earned him a Coast Guard Commendation Medal and an Ian Fraser Award from Canada.

Woolford also talks about his time as a helicopter instructor and the importance of training new students. He shares stories from his life in Alaska and from his career as an air ambulance pilot.

We also touch on the gear and equipment used by rescue swimmers, including the famous Rolex watches. We finish our conversation with some good advice where Woolford emphasizes the importance of physical and mental health for rescue swimmers and highlights the legacy of the rescue swimmer program. Enjoy!

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