Driver Reviver and road safety: VICSES member rescued by fellow volunteers in serious road crash rescue
To help promote this year’s Driver Reviver campaign and road safety over the long weekend holiday, VICSES Pakenham Unit member Andre Ackaoui shares his story of how his fellow VICSES volunteers saved his life after a serious road collision.
Andre Ackaoui has volunteered with VICSES Pakenham Unit for the past 10 years, since he was 17-years-old. During this time Andre has responded to many requests for assistance, including over 100 road crash rescues alongside his highly-trained unit members.
In August 2020, Andre was involved in a serious road collision while driving his truck on the Hume Freeway in Wallan. For the first time, Andre found himself as the casualty of a road crash rescue - not the first responder.
VICSES Craigieburn Unit and local Country Fire Authority members swiftly responded to the incident, involving a complex three-hour extraction.
Although finally being freed of the vehicle, Andre suffered significant injuries, and was in a coma for nine days.
Thankfully, Andre survived the ordeal and is on the way to recovery, all thanks to the assistance from his fellow VICSES volunteers and emergency service responders.
Reflecting on the trauma of the incident, Andre encourages everyone to stay safe on the roads this long weekend by pulling over at one of our volunteer-run Driver Reviver locations to stop, rest, and refresh.
“Sometimes being the responder is hard and you’re faced with some challenging scenes, but being in the collision yourself is not something you’d want anyone to go through,” said Andre.
“I’ve been very lucky and am making a good recovery, but I want to urge everyone out there to take care on the roads this long weekend. If you see a Driver Reviver site on your journey, make sure you drop in and say hello and thanks to our VICSES volunteers.”
For Driver Reviver locations ad more information, visit the Driver Reviver page on our website.
Above left: Andre's truck after the vehicle collison.
Above right: Andre speaking at this year's Driver Reviver launch ahead of the long weekend.