Ex-Rainbow lifeguard's skills save car crash victim

LIFESAVER: A former Rainbow Beach volunteer, Emily Simpson used her first aid training to assist at a car crash in Brisbane.
LIFESAVER: A former Rainbow Beach volunteer, Emily Simpson used her first aid training to assist at a car crash in Brisbane. Contributed

A TRAINED lifesaver, Emily Simpson did not expect the streets of Brisbane would be where she rescued people.

But stumbling on a three-car crash in South Bank after work on Wednesday night, she credits her first-aid training for helping her save one of the victims.

Seeing the scene, Ms Simpson said her training kicked in automatically.

"I started running towards the scene... the first thing I sort of always do is check for a bit of danger for myself," she said.

After seeing there was no immediate threat from fire or leaking fuel, she then jumped in to help one of the drivers who was in critical condition.

"There was a guy unconscious inside, so I just said to the people around me, 'I'm actually a lifeguard so I've got a lot of first-aid skills, I'm gonna jump in here and check this guy out'."

While there were a number of people around eager to help, she said it was important for people to be trained in what to do.

She said it would have been very easy for a good Samaritan to make an error like removing him from the vehicle before ambulances arrived.

"He was in pretty critical condition and there was no real danger of him being in the car... it was best to keep him still."

It was also crucial to know what invisible dangers might exist too.

"The way he was lying, if he's injured his neck it's really easy for a person's airways to become blocked if they are unconscious."

She credited her training for helping her to keep other people on the scene calm, too, and avoid any further problems arising from panic.

Having left Gympie to attend university, Ms Simpson said she was grateful for the first aid training she had received at the Rainbow Beach surf club.

It was training which had been incredibly important.

"There's been a few occasions where outside of being a volunteer lifesaver on the beach or being a paid lifeguard down at South bank I've had to use first aid for a major incident."

Topics:  car accident givedontgrieve gympie lifeguard lifesaver rainbow beach

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