Ocean Grove Surf Lifesaver Alistair McCooke has rescued dozens of people from dangerous surf during his 30-year career. He also is a Crew Member of the Life Saving Australia Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Professionally he works as a Paramedic who has helped establish emergency response service programs for expatriate staff in Saudi Arabia and been a health and safety supervisor in a United Nations humanitarian mine clearance project in Iraq, where he also trained medics. Alistair was acknowledged as Victorian and National Surf Lifesaver of the Year in 2004, from a field of 33,000 active lifesavers, for his work in promoting life-saving automatic defibrillators as standard equipment for surf lifesaving kits. Research shows that every minute a patient suffers sudden cardiac arrest and does not receive a shock by a defibrillator, their chance of survival decreases by 10% so Alistair is a passionate campaigner with Ambulance Victoria for ‘heart safe’ communities by having the equipment located wherever large numbers of people gather.
In 2011 Alistair was part of the Who Are We, Australia? panel at the BMW Edge in Federation Square, discussing issues of national identity with other notable Victorians.