For second-year Bachelor of Paramedicine student Karma Reeves, becoming a first responder has always been her ultimate dream. The single mother of three children and former hairdresser was able to make her dream come true when she recently received a Rural Fire Service (RFS) award as part of a team that rescued a trapped man last year.
In February 2017, the Pacific Palms RFS was the first to arrive on the scene where a man was trapped under a small excavator, which had overturned in a shallow dam at Charlotte Bay on the New South Wales (NSW) Mid North Coast.
Karma was at home studying when she received the call advising her that a man was trapped underwater on a property near Forster.
The man was pinned by the machine but had managed to keep his mouth and nose above the water. He’d been trapped for several hours and was struggling to maintain his position.
The crew were unable to extract the man so instead set up pumps to try and reduce the dam water level to provide him with relief and support the rescue effort.
The Fire and Rescue NSW units from Forster arrived and worked closely with the RFS to rescue the man.
Karma said that given the muddy base of the dam and the awkward position, it took 40 minutes to rescue the man, who she soon recognised as someone she knew locally.
“It was a great honour to receive the award with my fellow crew members. It was a difficult and challenging rescue, but seeing everyone work together and having a successful rescue was great,” Karma said.
Karma is currently studying at Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie and has been an RFS volunteer for the past two years.
“I love being involved in the community and it’s a great experience and exposure for my studies to become a paramedic,” Ms Reeves said.
The Commissioner’s Certificate of Commendation (Unit) is an award that recognises outstanding actions in relation to fire service duties.
The Certificate of Commendation was awarded for service beyond the scope and responsibility normally expected of a unit in their assigned duties.
Save lives as a first responder
If you’re passionate about helping others, you too can help save lives as a first responder (and maybe receive your own Rural Fire Service award). With our Bachelor of Paramedicine or Master of Paramedicine (with specialisations) you can start or advance your career as a paramedic.
You can choose to study your bachelor’s paramedicine degree on campus at Bathurst or Port Macquarie or through flexible online learning. Our master’s degree is offered completely online so you can continue to work and have real flexibility while you study.