On Friday evening, as a member of the local CFA, I attended the fatal motor vehicle accident on the Murray Valley Highway at Brimin west of Rutherglen.
Words fail me to describe the horrific scene that lay before us. A semi-trailer had collided with a young family of five returning home from an evening meal, the impact of which was horrific. Very sadly the mother and one of her boys was to die at the scene.
Volunteer members of several CFA brigades and three SES units from Rutherglen, Corowa and Yarrawonga all arrived at the scene very quickly, along with five road ambulances, MICA paramedics, several police vehicles and later three helicopter ambulance crews.
What struck me was the wonderful way everyone worked together to do what they could to assist this family in the most difficult of situations.
From the moment we arrived, assessing the nature of injuries, to the arrival of the SES personnel, who were required to remove the passengers from the vehicle, to their efficiency in cutting the vehicle to do so, everyone worked quietly and competently to do whatever they could to assist.
The professionalism of the ambulance crews was outstanding. They guided and advised everyone involved to achieve as positive an outcome as was possible under the circumstances. The care and skill shown by all ambulance personnel was nothing short of amazing.
The police too played their part. They had immediately closed the highway to all traffic and kept it so until next day. They also assisted with whatever first aid that could be provided.
Three helicopter ambulance crews were called, landing on the highway between trees and other obstacles. Again, everyone worked quickly and efficiently to transfer the three critically injured family members to Melbourne Hospitals.
How lucky we are to have such wonderful people, be they volunteers or professional, to help us in our time of need.
Tony Jones, Norong CFA
Destroying a brand
With the media reporting of the Royal Commission into the banking and finance sectors “AMP receiving fees from dead people”, you would be excused for thinking that the CEO and or the board of the company had called a meeting of all department heads with a performance bonus in their contracts based on meeting KPIs based on profits from fee income. “Let’s get some fees from dead policyholders!”
Or could it have been a simple failure of the administration communication between the death claims department and the computer administration department due to an innocent mistake by a lapse in concentration by one or more junior clerks?
Venomous unconscionable attacks are being made on an organisation where I was a member of the indoor staff for 10 years from 1954 followed by 50 years as a life insurance salesman.
In all that time AMP management may have made errors of judgment, but never of integrity.
At the end of the day there may well be grounds for a class action by staff, agents and policy owners against the Royal Commission employees for destroying the brand of an Australian icon.