House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Aaron Macdonald 2011

I rise to speak about Aaron Macdonald, a remarkable 16-year-old who lives in my electorate. Aaron received a certificate of commendation from Ambulance Victoria in October of last year. Aaron’s reward was received in recognition of his quick thinking and calm temperament in averting disaster when his father, Cameron, lost consciousness while driving Aaron to school.

I rise to speak about Aaron Macdonald, a remarkable 16-year-old who lives in my electorate. Aaron received a certificate of commendation from Ambulance Victoria in October of last year. Aaron’s reward was received in recognition of his quick thinking and calm temperament in averting disaster when his father, Cameron, lost consciousness while driving Aaron to school.

In peak hour traffic, Cameron lost consciousness at the wheel. Making matters worse, Cameron’s foot slipped onto the accelerator significantly increasing the speed of the vehicle. Instinctively, Aaron lunged to the driver’s side of the vehicle and frantically attempted to remove his father’s foot from the accelerator while trying to divert the car away from other vehicles and pedestrians.

Aaron managed to escape colliding with several vehicles but, given the traffic, it was inevitable that a collision would occur. The car collided with several others over a stretch of 200 metres. In total, three cars were written off and four others sustained considerable damage. One car was shunted over a railway intersection but, miraculously, nobody was seriously injured.

When their car eventually came to a stop, Aaron thought that his dad was dead as he was not able to find his pulse or see any obvious vital signs. Aaron managed to get out of the car after kicking open the door and signalling bystanders to call an ambulance. Throughout this ordeal, his concern was for the wellbeing of his father and of others involved in the accident. Aaron’s father was rushed to hospital where it was discovered that his heart had failed. Cameron is, happily, now recovering.

If it were not for the bravery and courage shown by Aaron during this terrifying ordeal, the damage and injuries suffered on this early morning trip to school could have been far greater. Aaron happens to be the son of my electorate office staff member Claudette Macdonald, who is rightly extremely proud of her son. Claudette also advises me that Aaron is a national athlete and a good student who topped a couple of his subjects last year.

Aaron joins the more than 700 Victorians who have now been commended by Ambulance Victoria since the program began in 2001. The aim of the commendation process is to provide recognition for members of the public who provide valuable assistance to patients and to paramedics while also increasing awareness of first aid and CPR and to encourage other people to learn lifesaving skills.

The certificate of commendation presented to Aaron is well deserved and indeed a program in which this sort of certificate, this sort of recognition, through commendation by organisations like Ambulance Victoria is the sort of program that should be encouraged and continued because it is the sort of program that encourages all members of the community to act in the way that Aaron so commendably has.