Graphic: Burnt out truck following fire at Marree

Team effort saves lives

Date published

20 Oct 2017

Graphic: Marree Remote Area Clinic

A truck driver made a lucky escape when his vehicle went up in flames in South Australia's Birdsville Track.

The fire broke out in a stationary truck in Marree, 685 kilometres north of Adelaide, on Wednesday night as the driver slept in the cab. Thanks to the quick thinking of his workmate, the driver was pulled to safety just in time. 

“I heard an explosion and saw an enormous flash of light,” said Courtney White, RFDS Remote Area Nurse, who was on shift at the organisation’s Marree Health Service.

“I grabbed our ambulance and followed the CFS to the scene – we found the vehicle totally up in flames,” Courtney says.
“The driver was incredibly lucky. 

“His colleague, who had been sleeping in a nearby truck, pulled him from the burning vehicle just in time. If it had been minute or two later he wouldn’t have survived,” Courtney says.

In a real team effort between the CFS, RFDS and the local SAPOL officer, all those affected by smoke inhalation were evacuated from the scene and taken to the RFDS Marree clinic for initial treatment. 

With minor injuries and smoke inhalation, the truck driver was later evacuated by the RFDS to Port Augusta Hospital. He has since been discharged.

The RFDS Marree Health Service is staffed by two Remote Area Nurses, who provide primary health care, home visiting, referrals, 24-hour medical consultation and 4WD emergency ambulance services from the remote clinic.

Patients inside the Marree clinic