Six Army personnel have been recognised for coming to the aid of a civilian motorcyclist who crashed on a rural road near their position while they were on exercise in early June.
The personnel were Lieutenant Brock Clarke and Signaller Jarrod O’Brien, from the 3rd Combat Signal Regiment, and Trooper Thomas Flemming, Lance Corporal Cameron Taylor, Corporal Dannielle Fitzgerald and Craftsman Michael Fisicaro, from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
They were conducting morning routine at the Townsville Field Training Area during the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment’s, recent Warfighter when they heard a group of motorbikes passing along the nearby highway followed by a loud crashing noise.
The soldiers ran to the roadside to investigate and found a civilian motorcyclist lying on the road.
The motorbike he was riding had hit a large pothole and he had been flung off, sustaining significant injuries.
Lance Corporal Taylor was one of the first on scene and said he and the other personnel immediately began to treat the man, secure the area and contact emergency services.
“When we got there, the motorcyclist was pretty incoherent. He slid a long way down the road and was definitely unconscious before we got there,” Lance Corporal Taylor said.
“Two of the soldiers ran back to where we could get a phone signal and called Triple Zero while myself and Trooper Flemming started first aid.
“We checked him over for bleeding and signs of head or back injury.
“We tried to keep him still in case of spinal injury, and monitored his vitals and provided him with water and shade, just trying to make sure he was alright.”
Lieutenant Clarke was alerted to the accident by soldiers returning from the scene and went to support the soldiers as they waited for emergency services to reach the rural location.
“Once Lance Corporal Taylor did a handover with the paramedics, we stayed to move the bike and, as there was still traffic coming through the area, we made sure to mark the pothole so other motorists wouldn’t hit it,” Lieutenant Clarke said.
Lance Corporal Taylor said military training enabled the team to assess the accident scene and rapidly take action.
“Once we got there and figured out what had happened, it was pretty natural for everyone to just take control and do what we needed to do. It came down to what we’ve been trained to do during Army first aid,” Lance Corporal Taylor said.
Lieutenant Clarke said he was impressed with the soldiers’ rapid response and their ability to carry out first aid and safety procedures.
“I was really impressed with the level of leadership shown by the junior soldiers – the fact that they didn’t panic when the incident occurred; they just went out there and got straight into it,” Lieutenant Clarke said.
“They fell back on their training, which made my job a lot easier when I got out there, being able to coordinate the scene as they kept providing support.”
All members involved were recognised for their bravery and courage while carrying out first aid and safety procedures by Commander of the 3rd Brigade Brigadier Kahlil Fegan.
“So many, when faced with a critical incident, freeze or turn away, but you didn’t; you moved forward to provide valuable assistance to the injured gentlemen and, in doing so, you demonstrated all that is good about our people,” Brigadier Fegan said.