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Bristow Gets into the #TetrisChallenge Fun

October 03, 2019

Employees in Galliano, Louisiana, entered a social media challenge that has a lot of first responders and military units around the world participating. The effort has a Bristow SAR team displaying all of their gear that could be used in the course of their duties to help someone in the Gulf of Mexico.

The image posed the team like fitting the parts or blocks together in the popular “Tetris” video game. In all, a wide variety of specialized equipment and hardware were displayed including a crew and maintenance team members with the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter in the background.

SAR Line Training Captain Nuri van Hattum and Hoist Operator Instructor Martin Kemp organized the image effort under the hashtag #TetrisChallenge and posted an image that has already generated more than 350 likes. The large assortment of equipment featured in the image includes some extra technical rescue equipment that can be deployed offshore to extract people from bad situations. 

“I saw that others were posting to this hashtag and thought it looked like a cool project to do,” the nine-year SAR veteran captain said. “We got our night crew together and picked a quiet night to do the picture. About five of us participated in staging the image for about 3 to 4 hours and thought that we could do a good job with it and wanted to highlight our capabilities and equipment.” 

Bristow’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Program supports their oil and gas clients from its standalone SAR facility located at the South Lafourche Airport, in Galliano, Louisiana. As an around the clock, all-weather SAR team, the group has three aircraft, one aeromedical S-76C++ aircraft and two SAR aircraft, an S-92 and AW139, which are all on standby 24/7. With our unique rescue fleet, all areas of the Gulf of Mexico are within reach of this lifesaving service. The Gulf of Mexico SAR team receives and responds to hundreds of life-threatening emergencies each year.

“We can pretty much respond to anything that happens in the Gulf of Mexico,” van Hattum said. “It’s rewarding work because we are here to take care of people when they are having their worst day.”

“We cover everything from oil platforms to drilling rigs to supply vessels to barges. We have also been used by local government agencies to help in emergencies to cover onshore search and rescue,” he said. 

“Maintenance is an integral part of all flight operations. Nothing happens without maintenance,” van Hattum said about why maintenance members were included in the image. 

When not avoiding tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer, the team has to contend with widespread fog and low weather conditions in the winter months. 

He wears two hats, one as an aircraft commander for SAR and another as a training captain for Bristow. Nuri is focused on training other pilots “to fly the line” and to be SAR captains and co-pilots. “SAR is a constant training operation. We have new pilots and winch operators that come in that needed to be trained in how to fly a SAR mission, which requires a significant amount of training. We have to maintain standards and proficiency.”

The challenge to display these items started with police officers in Zurich, Switzerland, in September and the effort, called knolling, has taken off globally with first responders and military units around the world displaying their gear with compelling images. Knolling is the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles. 

The practice has been duplicated by hundreds of different first responders and military units around the world effort. The effort creates greater awareness of the equipment first responders must be trained on how to use in an emergency situation as well as that used by military units.