Air Rescue is an observational documentary series following the high-stakes work of the rescue crews of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. The pilots, aircrews and intensive care paramedics are our narrators - and through them we’re drawn into the lives of Australians in crisis.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is a community based rescue service, located in every state of Australia and run by the Surf Life Saving Association (SLSA). The SLSA is the longest serving search and rescue helicopter service in the world reaching more than 80% of the population. This is classic observational storytelling imbued with a cinematic style – the real-life narrative of what happens when humanity collides with the Australian landscape. We capture action as it happens and actuality as it naturally unfolds. Through dialogue and thought track, we tell stories through the eyes of a core cast of rescue crews as they enter the lives of ordinary Australians in need: fishermen in trouble, teenage joyriders trapped in cars, injured farmers, flood victims, motorbike riders and holidaymakers in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We push dirty-framing, composition and shot size to achieve a high-end look. We heighten drama through the use of music and a soundscape that captures the environment head-on. We shoot extreme wide and extreme close to reveal the thoughts, emotions and motivations of the men and women behind the uniforms – What’s really at stake? What are the time-critical decisions that need to be made? And how do they cope with the emotion and trauma? And each helicopter is rigged with multiple HD go-pro cameras.

It’s up to the rescue crews to save lives, heal the wounds and provide unflinching trust and support. Air rescue is real-life rescue drama about us.


Observational Documentary Series (Seasons 1,2,3 & 4)

26 x 30 minutes

Seven Network

Key Creatives

Series Producer
Ben Commens 

Ash Dunn

Line Producers
George Lykouras & Mel Rogan 

Executive Producers
Craig Graham & Ben Commens (Series 4)

Production Partner


Winner: 2014 Cristal Award
Winner: 2014 Silver Pencil Award (The One Show)
Winner: 2014 BEfest (Best Integration of Brand Storytelling)
Winner: 2014 AB+F (Advertising, Marketing & Promotion Campaign of the Year)