Selfless actions of truck drivers responding to car crash recognised

10 March 2022

In February of last year, Trevor Parminter and Glenn Schepis were on their way to deliver a new machine to a farmer when they came across a car that had left the road, hit a tree and caught fire near the Wheatbelt town of Wickepin. 

“I was just doing my normal job as a truck driver and going to deliver a load and came over the crest of the hill near Wickepin, a car had hit a tree and was on fire,” said Trevor. “I just saw somebody in the driver’s seat and basically just pulled the truck up and ran straight towards the car.”

When the men reached the vehicle, they saw a woman whose clothing was on fire and had suffered serious injuries, including broken bones. Upon approaching the car, recognising the intensity of the flames, Trevor and Glenn proceeded to pull the woman out of the driver’s seat, carry her away from the burning vehicle and extinguish the flames with their hands. 

Trevor described that with the limited first aid equipment he had available on his truck, he and Glenn began to improvise with towels that were available. “I just went and got the towel out of my truck that I use for nighttime showers and got that out and the water tank on the side of it,” said Trevor. “Just kept tipping water out onto the wet towel on her back.” 

Trevor and Glenn continued to provide first aid and reassurance until the police and ambulance arrived at least 15 minutes later. Devastatingly, the woman was accompanied in the vehicle by her 9-year-old grandson, but due to the flames he couldn’t be reached and didn’t survive the crash. 

Both Trevor and Glenn sustained injuries whilst responding to the incident due to the severity of the flames and the disturbance of a nearby beehive. Glenn had received dozens of bee stings to his face, head and arms, while Trevor sustained burns and bee stings. 

The selfless actions of Trevor and Glenn were formally recognised at the 2021 Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards, each receiving a Gold Cross for their efforts. Trevor, who was unable to attend the award ceremony in Perth was presented his award by Shire of Katanning President Liz Guidera at the Katanning Citizen Awards ceremony on Australia Day. 

Persevering through their own pain during a dangerous and confronting situation, it is likely that without the actions carried out by Trevor and Glenn that the woman would not have survived. When asked how he felt about receiving an award for the actions he had taken, Trevor said, “I don’t know actually. Like, a bit surreal to tell you the truth. It’s just an everyday job in my book.” 

Trevor had previously undertaken first aid training, stating that he had completed at least six or seven courses over 22 years. However, as a truck driver, he recognises the importance of having such knowledge and believes it’s just a matter of time before being confronted by a car crash. “As a truck driver, it isn’t ‘if’ you’re going to see one, it’s ‘when’ you’re going to see one. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have,” he says.

If you know someone in the community who has bravely performed a rescue or resuscitation, applying their knowledge to save another’s life, you can nominate them for a Bravery Award here.

To find and enrol in a first aid course appropriate to you, click the link below.

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