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SBS On Demand, Insight: 'First on the scene'
The SBS program Insight, now available on demand, talks to first responders about how they felt, why they acted and what they thought and feared as they dealt with the responsibility of being first on the scene of an emergency.
Whether we’re trained emergency workers or just out surfing with a mate, there are varied responses to being first on the scene. Some react without thinking, driven by a base instinct to jump in and help without concern for getting hurt. Others freeze to take stock of the situation, consider the potential dangers and weigh up the risks and benefits before diving in. Some remain aloof or flee altogether.
What would you do if a colleague or fellow student suddenly fired bullets around the room, killing and injuring many? You’re near the door, a clean escape is simple, you could just follow your classmates to safety. Or do you push forward to try to stop the gunman in his tracks? This is the situation Alastair Boast found himself in.
In March, Joel Trist was out surfing when his nearby friend was attacked by a shark. Joel’s instinct to save him kicked in immediately. The potential for the shark to attack again only crossed Joel’s mind as he paddled Brett to shore.
Responding to emergencies is part of Peter Davidson’s job. But his fortitude was truly tested during the infamous 1998 Sydney-Hobart yacht race as he was pushed to his limits, and managed to save eight sailors in one treacherous hour. The decisions never get any easier.