Ian Bonthrone has done many things so far in his life. Those he can admit to include:
Search & Rescue Winchman, Adventurer and Mountaineer, Aviator, Combat Helicopter Crewman, Combat Survival Instructor, Paramedic, Business Planning, Leader, Photographer, Rugby Player, Tactical Medic, Sales Manager, Instructor, Mentor, Staff Officer, Business Management, Stage and Event Security Officer, Event Medic, Sea Survival Instructor, Human Factors Facilitator(CRM), Traveler, Husband, Swimmer, Colloquial Interpreter, Expedition Leader, Procurement, Father.
Initially joining the Royal Air Force in 1980 Ian Bonthrone quickly applied for aircrew duties as an Air Loadmaster and after flying training he was posted to Germany as a Crewman on Puma Helicopters. Completing detachments throughout Europe, Ireland and Belize supporting Army and SF Operations he was selected to attend, what became, the Defence SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Evacuation) School, training as an RAF Combat Survival & Rescue Officer. Whilst stationed in Germany Ian ran the Mountaineering Club organising expeditions to the Alps and Canada, he also assisted the unit with all mountaineering Adventurous Training.
Further flying tours followed as a SAR (Search and Rescue) Winchman in the UK and Falkland Islands; and Ian was one of the first Winchmen to complete paramedic training quickly becoming the unit Training Officer.
At the age of 31 Ian applied for and was successful at selection for specialist reconnaissance training however promotion to Warrant Officer in the Royal Air Force curtailed his future in reconnaissance. During a following tour at HQ 18 Gp Headquarters it has been said that ‘Ian’s work and dedication brought about the catalyst of the Military Paramedic cadres that are active within the UK Armed Forces today. These advancements provided a solid platform for ‘Paramedical readiness’ that has in turn, assisted today’s practitioners in saving the lives of thousands of men, women, children; civilians and soldiers from all over the world….’ Responsible for Medical Training, for the UK SAR Forces Ian also instructed all medical training for SAR Forces and guest lectured on RAMC and UK SF Course. He was also an active UK Resuscitation Council Instructor and a member of the Medical Commission of ICAR (International Committee on Alpine Rescue).
Ian returned to operational SAR duties as a Winchman Paramedic for his final tour at AAC Wattisham where he was also the Crewman Leader responsible for the day-to-day management of all Non Commissioned personnel and the Senior RAF WO at Wattisham.
Since retiring from the RAF Ian has senior management experience in Security and Medical Equipment procurement & supply along side Security Management in the UK Music & Event Industry before returning to SAR in 2014 to set up and manage the SAR Winchmen and Winch Operators on the MoD SAR Contract in the Falkland Islands. Ian continues to operate on SAR when the need arises and is the Senior Instructor and Examiner for the contract.