L to R: Chris Pearce, General Manager, Red Star Transport; Geoff May, National Commercial Sales Manager, Bridgestone; John Fabian, Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award winner and Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair.
The award recognises his efforts in coordinating a response and assisting emergency services at the scene of a head-on collision between two passenger vehicles on a remote stretch of South Australia’s Eyre Highway in February 2017.
Mr Fabian, who has been driving trucks for over seven years, was presented with the award this afternoon at Redstar’s Victorian office.
Mr Fabian was one of the first on the scene of the crash, which occurred around 150km West of Ceduna. He immediately contacted his operations team in Melbourne to relay his location to local emergency services before walking the scene to assess the condition of the all the people involved.
“There was a lady trapped in one of the vehicles, so I just asked a couple questions to see where the pain was and ascertained that she potentially had some lower limb crush injuries, another person had abdominal trauma and a broken leg,” Mr Fabian said.
“The second I spoke to emergency service, we just went through all the possible injuries they had and they let me know there were three ambulances about an hour away and a couple of nurses from the Yalata Indigenous community were also inbound,” he said.
Having spent 10 years in the military and three years contracting in Iraq, Mr Fabian is no stranger to emergency situations and credits these experiences for his ability to remain calm and pass critical information up the chain.
“In those environments, you have a lot of adrenaline that goes through your body and trying to stay level headed is one of the biggest things,” he said.
“Because of my training, I’ll constantly be looking at things that possibly need to be done to mitigate a crisis situation, or what could be done in order to make things a little bit easier.”
Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Andrew Moffatt praised Mr Fabian’s composure, which ensured emergency services were on the scene as soon as possible.
“Mr Fabian’s ability to calmly assess the situation and pass critical information on to emergency services meant that not only were they on the scene quickly, but they were also prepared for what awaited them,” Mr Moffatt said.
“The ability to remain composed in such a stressful situation is a remarkable character trait and one worthy of recognition.”
The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award honours the great community service performed by professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during the course of their normal work.
ATA Chair Geoff Crouch also praised Mr Fabian for his efforts in coordinating a rapid emergency response to the accident.
“All truck drivers have a basic set of protocols to follow in these kind of situations, but John’s response is indicative of someone with a wealth of emergency experience,” Mr Crouch said.
“We are lucky to have a driver of his calibre on the roads, and I commend his ability to remain calm and composed and to take charge of the situation.”
Potential Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidates can be brought to the ATA’s attention at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the award, go to www.highwayguardian.com.au