TRAINED: Rosemary Paterson says her actions during a recent road emergency were guided by her first aid training. Picture: Adam McLean Inset: The crash scene.
An Illawarra Uber driver has paid tribute to her first aid training and encouraged more people to take the course, in the aftermath of a serious road crash at Kanahooka.
Rosemary Paterson was driving northbound on the M1 at Kanahooka in the early hours of Sunday morning when she chanced upon a car on its roof.
Leaving her three passengers, she found a man lying on the road in the darkness, having been thrown from his overturned, badly damaged car.
“It was absolutely horrendous. The car roof was virtually flat and the battery was probably 100 metres past the car, so the impact must have been incredible,” said Mrs Paterson, of Woonona.
“The driver was lying virtually in the fetal position on the road, by himself.”
With other passers-by already having called triple-0, Mrs Paterson raced to her car to collect two towels before returning to the injured man.
She encouraged him to stay still when he complained about pain to his back and placed a towel over him as he went into shock.
Mostly, she talked to him, asking his name and age, filling the silence with more questions when he hesitated to reply.
“I said, just listen to my voice, the police have been called. Blink your eyes if you can hear me,” she said.
“I was just trying to keep him conscious until the paramedics, who knew a lot more than me, got there.”
She said she was grateful to leave the man in the care of paramedics soon afterwards.
Mrs Paterson is a graduate of a first aid course offered by St John Ambulance. After her recent experience, she intends to take a refresher.
“It’s such a good course. Everybody should be doing it, or doing a refresher course, especially coming into Christmas,” she said.
The crash occurred about 1.45am near the Kanahooka on-ramp. The injured 24-year-old man suffered head and back injuries. He remained in a stable condition at Wollongong Hospital, as at Monday afternoon.
Canberra First Aid Training has many course dates upcoming for January. Please make sure you book soon to avoid disappointment. See www.canberrafirstaid.com for more details.