Two Kapooka trainee medics and an off-duty firefighter saved the life of a motorbike rider who lost his leg

Private Jess Potter and Private Jacinta Holt.
Private Jess Potter and Private Jacinta Holt.

About 4.30pm on Tuesday afternoon, a crash between a motorbike and a car left the rider unconscious and on death’s door. 

However, an incredible stroke of good luck saw off-duty firefighter Aaron Campbell and army medics-in-training Jess Potter and Jacinta Holt arrive on the scene moments later.

Privates Potter and Holt had been on their way to the lake for a run while Mr Campbell was going to pick up his son from daycare when they converged at the carnage on Red Hill Road. The man was unconscious and one of his legs was missing.

Mr Campbell grabbed his first aid kit, ran over to the unconscious man and started stuffing gauze onto the wound.

”Blood was all over the place, it looked like the movies,” Mr Campbell said. “The medics got there and his leg was nowhere to be seen so while they tried to stabilise him I went looking for it. In my 15 years as a firefighter I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Both young women were humble about their life-saving role. Pte Potter said they just packed the wound with gauze and managed to stop the bleeding by applying pressure.

“We just did what we could with what we were taught,” Pte Potter said. “Then we stayed with him until the ambulance got there.”

For Pte Holt, the save was a group effort.

“It’s not just us but the civilians and the police there as well, we couldn’t have done it without them,” Pte Holt said. “It was crazy and I was relieved when I heard he’d survived. I was so happy to be able to use some of what I’d learned to help save a life.”

Kapooka’s Acting Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Kearns, said the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the base were with the rider and his family.

“It makes me very proud to see them give back to the community,” Col Kearns said. “They pursued the right thing and saved a life in a time of need. It’s important to point out the army doesn’t deliver these great young Australians, we just get them and provide the skills and values to work for the community.”

Mr Campbell encouraged everyone to do a first aid course and carry a first aid kit.

“The simple fact is if we didn’t have bandages he would have bled out, no question,” Mr Campbell said.


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