Bush pilot now Bay paramedic
WORKING as a bush pilot, Mike Neeson would sometimes visit multiple Australian states in one day.
Then, the Global Financial Crisis proved to be a blessing in disguise, forcing him into a career change.
Now, Mike is an advanced care paramedic at the Hervey Bay Ambulance Station.
The major change came late in life for Mike who always had an interest in human biology and medicine.
"This was my time to pursue my dream," he said.
"It was a choice between becoming a doctor or a pilot when I was younger and I chose pilot."
The married father-of-three became a fully qualified paramedic in 2012.
Passionate about encouraging everyone to learn CPR skills, Mike remembers a man having a cardiac arrest at a dining table and the quick-thinking actions of those around him saving his life.
"People helped resuscitate him before we arrived," he said
"He was out of hospital in a couple of weeks thanks to the CPR skills of the people around him.
Some of the most common jobs Mike responds to are where elderly people have suffered falls and heart attacks.
"Tragedies like car crashes are not the norm," he said.
"On a typical day your turn up, get the vehicle ready, and wait see what comes up.
"Chest pains and heart attacks are common with the aging population of our area."
When he's not working 12 hour shifts, Mike is a family man with a love of scuba diving and his two pet dogs.
"The long shifts are both enjoyable and challenging," he said. "It's varied, you never know who's going to need your help. "You get to help them through their day."