Campaign to reduce Easter road toll
“I’VE been to a job where the mother was cradling her dead child.”
That is the reality Senior Firefighter Stephen James and other emergency servicemen and women deal with every day on our roads and they are sick of it.
Bundaberg crews from Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue, Bundaberg Police and RACQ CareFlight joined forces earlier this week to talk about the traumatising events they have experienced as part of an ongoing Easter Road Safety Campaign.
“We are pushing this campaign to highlight to everyone the road toll that traditionally rises during the Easter break and how the emergency services personnel are affected during this time,” Queensland Fire and Rescue Bundaberg station officer Jonathon Blackey said.
“We are affected by the things that we see at crashes and the fact that there are often relatives on site,” Mr Blackey said.
“The things that we see whilst at work do not go away when our shift finishes,” he said.
QAS Advanced Care Paramedic Leanne Fowler has been in the job for only 12 months but has seen her fair share of crashes.
“I have come across a number of tragic crashes and they are tragic because they are avoidable,” Ms Fowler said.
“People make decisions that they think might be innocent at the time, but unfortunately they generally have pretty catastrophic consequences.”
All emergency services staff agreed most crashes occurred due to the Fatal Five.
QAS acting senior operations supervisor Steven Bechly said: “People’s inattention, fatigue, drink driving, speeding, not wearing seatbelts and the decisions that they make on the road each and every day when they drive”.
“We want to put an end to this by getting people thinking about their behaviour on the road,” Mr Bechly said.
He said there were other ways to promote and encourage road safety, such as using automatic daylight running lights while driving and keeping up to date with first aid.
“The first aid provided by people prior to when we arrive to a crash is something that can really save lives,” he said.