Crews train to beat ‘golden hour’ of road trauma
Their experience could be the difference between road users dying or surviving in a crash.
But it takes practising "over and over again" to confidently approach an emergency situation and have the knowhow to deal with a leaking car on its side or use the 'jaws of life'.
That is why about 50 first responders across the Mackay Isaac region were grateful to learn from each at an inter-agency training session in Nebo on Saturday.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service's Peter Carroll said "the golden hour" in an emergency was vital.
"When you have your accident, if we can have you in hospital within one hour, then that's your best chance of living through whatever it might be," the Mackay fire station chief said.
"This (Peak Downs) highway as we know is a place for people to have accidents so the more qualified people we can get along any of our highways with road crash experience, the safer people are.
"A training scenario ... is always (done) slowly, methodically, so everyone gets an understanding of the way that works."
"That obviously changes when it's two o'clock in the morning when it's pouring rain on the side of the highway and everything's going wrong, everything's happening quick. The only way you do that job successfully at that time is to do this work."
Joining the QFES Fire and Rescue teams in training were State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Brigade volunteers across Nebo, Carmila, Moranbah and Walkerston.
SES Nebo senior member John Williamson said with the town being one hour away from a red fire truck, volunteers were often called upon to stabilise road crashes.
"We can be there in half the time," Mr Williamson said.
He said the training, which included learning to use hydraulic rescue tools and attaching ratchet straps to key areas of a car's hood and undercarriage, was fun.
One car was upside down, another on its side and the third without its wheels.
"I like cutting up cars; I'm still trying to find a 2020 Holden to do," Mr Williamson said.
SES Mackay area controller Selina Neill said the day was about refreshing skills, meeting other first responders and becoming familiar with the gear each of the trucks carried.
"This is kind of the first step for us to get a better working relationship and learn off each other.
"This will be the first of many as everyone is quite enthusiastic about it."
SES Isaac area controller Daniel Deal said if anyone was interested in joining the organisation, they were welcome to contact him.
"Come and check it out and see if you like it," Mr Deal said.
For more information on SES Isaac, head to the council's website.