South Australian local, Navy Reserve Medical Officer Lieutenant Andrew Southcott, didn’t hesitate to answer the call to provide medical support to the people of Kangaroo Island.
Lieutenant Southcott is currently one of only two Navy members posted to the Australian Army’s 9th Combat Service Support Battalion, a reserve unit, based at Warradale in South Australia.
Lieutenant Southcott said he had been watching the bushfire crisis unfold across Australia and wanted to put his medical skills to good use in the affected communities.
“When the call to support the community of South Australia went out, I immediately put my hand up to be part of the Australian Defence Force’s first Emergency Support Force contingent to be sent to Kangaroo Island.
“As Reserve members, we live and work in the local community, so I wanted to be able to provide immediate support to those affected in this tragic event."
“I have been training alongside my Army colleagues for a while now at 9th Combat Service Support Battalion, and when the unit called up members to support the bushfire affected communities, I didn’t hesitate to put myself forward to assist.
“Our primary role is health support to the deployed military forces, emergency services and local wildlife, while assisting the local community with emergency health care where required on Kangaroo Island.
“As Reserve members, we live and work in the local community, so I wanted to be able to provide immediate support to those affected in this tragic event.
Lieutenant Southcott said that as a Navy Medical Officer, we train to practice high standards of medical care under adverse conditions with minimal support.
“Our primary training is to provide medical care to a sea-going community; however, we also train to work alongside our Army and Air Force colleagues under canvas both in Australia and overseas.
“As a General Practitioner, I work with the community daily, many of whom have family and friends directly affected by these fires.
“I wanted to be able to help the people of Kangaroo Island,” Lieutenant Southcott said.
The medical team from the Australian Defence Force, including personnel from the 3rd Health Support Battalion and the 9th Combat Service Support Battalion, deployed to Kangaroo Island as part of Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.