Book review: Brave

Brave: Ordinary Australians and their Extraordinary Acts of Courage by Mark Whittaker
Brave: Ordinary Australians and their Extraordinary Acts of Courage by Mark Whittaker Contributed

Brave: Ordinary Australians and their Extraordinary Acts of Courage

Author: Mark Whittaker

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Aust

RRP: $34.99

BRAVE is a book about what people do when faced with situations of life or death.

It is a story about whether or not we would plunge into a life-threatening situation to save the life of another.

For instance, would you swim out to a swimmer being attacked by a shark? Would you plunge into a burning car wreck to rescue a woman and her children? Would you run into a burning building to save the lives of strangers?

Author Mark Whittaker has tracked down those who did these deeds and became recipients of Australian bravery awards.

He has spoken to them not only about their actions and split-second decision they made to help someone in dire trouble, but also the aftermath of the incident.

Many remain extremely traumatised and indeed some have failed to come to terms with what they encountered.

This book is a fascinating look at how we deal with disaster and how people cope. Many of the rescuers did not receive counselling even they were just as shocked and traumatised as the survivors.

In one harrowing tale, a brave rescuer Ron Wall tells how he was left to drive home to Toowoomba alone after pulling a woman and her child from a wreck which threatened to explode in flames on the Logan Motorway.

There was no debrief or counselling for him.

This is a good book although the details of some of the rescues can be confronting.

It shows perhaps that we need to care much better for our heroes.

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