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Army October 1, 2009
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
NOT every vehicle accident victim has a
registered nurse at the scene to offer medical
An elderly couple involved in a head-on
collision were fortunate enough to receive
initial medical treatment from Capt John Skipp
on the Warrego highway between Toowoomba
and Oakey on September 9.
Capt Skipp, a registered nurse at the Darling
Downs Medical Service at Oakey Medical
Centre, was on his way to work the night shift
as health support to flying operations at 3pm
when he came across the accident.
"I grabbed the med kit I always carry in
the car and ran down to the scene to assist," he
said. "At the same time an ambulance turned
up and they went to one vehicle while I went
to the other."
Capt Skipp found an injured elderly couple
in the vehicle and began assessing their condi-
tion. "My first reaction was this was nasty, by
the way the vehicles were positioned on the
road," he said.
"The speed on the road was 100km/h and
they were both crumpled up together.
"They were in shock and when I told them
I was a nurse, they said, 'Oh, good.'
"They were in a stable condition, conscious
and were talking to me, and I continued with
the assessment until another paramedic crew
arrived. I worked with them to assess that they
were OK and provided treatment."
Capt Skipp then helped to extract the man
from the car. He maintained cervical spine con-
trol by sitting behind the man, holding his head
while the fire brigade cut away the vehicle.
"The seat was also electric and they had to
also cut it too, so he was able to be removed
using a spinal board," he said.
Capt Skipp remained with the injured cou-
ple until they were taken to hospital.
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
TWO reserve soldiers thought they were back on the
beat in their civilian careers during an exercise in
Mildura on September 15.
Victorian police officers Cpl Steve Oakley and (then
Cpl) Sgt Rod Charman, were in Mildura with 8/7RVR,
participating in Exercise Ypres. They were performing
rear-area security operations, when they came across
"At around 11.30pm, I was woken by the platoon
sergeant on picket and he said, 'We have guys over
here who have pulled into the hire-car yard and we
think they're knocking off fuel.'
"I got all my gear on, got out, had a look and could
see the silhouettes moving between a car and the car
yard and saw a couple of people go under the fence."
Sgt Charman alerted his OC via radio and asked for
police assistance. The rest of the section, including Cpl
Oakley, was woken up.
The OC also rang back to check the incident was
"for real" and not part of the exercise.
"We then saw some of the people coming back to
their vehicle and
we decided to
advance on them,"
Sgt Charman said.
"Some of them
started to run, so
we charged in and
Steve and I issued
a police challenge
to get them to
tried to drive off
and Sgt Charman
managed to get a hand on the vehicle. One of the men
fled on foot, with Cpl Oakley and the rest of the sec-
tion in pursuit.
"Within 30 seconds the man put his hands up and
said 'I'm over here'," Sgt Charman said.
The man had hit the bottom of a culvert ditch at
great speed and was found hiding behind a mound of
dirt. Cpl Oakley and Sgt Charman arrested him.
The man, a bit worse for wear, was charged with
attempted theft of petrol.
Patent leather footwear
SOME members are mistakenly returning patent leather
shoes and parade boots outside the batch numbers eli-
gible for replacement at Commonwealth expense. Boots
and shoes of concern have the following batch numbers:
Shoes -- 0001178 and below (found on inside tag near
instep); Boots -- 100619, 100626, 100627, 100628,
100629, 100632, 100633 and 100634 (found under
the tongue). Footwear from other batches requires a
RODUM, or should be replaced at your own expense
Cold weather entitlement
MEMBERS requiring cold weather kitting forms for over-
seas postings can call Shane Appleby, CLOSPO, on
(03) 9282 4262.
Questions about clothing should be directed to WO2 Anthony
Romkes at the Army Clothing Hotline on (03) 9282 6602 or email
In the right place
He did not get a chance to follow up with
the couple but said he had heard they were
OK. "It was sad, though, as the person in the
other vehicle did not make it," he said.
During the incident he said his medical
training just kicked in.
"I just went though the training I've been
taught and taught others, going through the
primary survey of danger, response, airway,
breathing and circulation," Capt Skipp said.
"When I got to work [after the incident] I
thought, 'Wow, my training does work.' "
Off the beat
but on duty
Arresting: Cpl Steve Oakley
(left) and Sgt Rod Charman.
Training does work:
Capt John Skipp's nursing
skills were put to good use
when he came across a
Photo by Spr Paul Hampton
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