Case study: David Cockbain, Hinton, NSW

The fatality rate on Australian farms is almost eight times higher than the rate across other industries. *

Traumatic incidents in rural and regional Australia often occur hundreds of kilometres from the closest medical services. There is a need for rural Australians to have lifesaving skills in response to traumatic incidents.  

Nutrien Ag Solutions and CareFlight have partnered to bring emergency trauma skills training to upskill regional communities in 180 locations across Australia.  

The critical skills that will be taught will provide participants with life-saving skills, for their local community. 

Critical need in the community for Emergency Trauma Training 

David Cockbain, a safety consultant and farmer who runs beef cattle on his property in Hinton, NSW, knows first-hand how important trauma training is in regional communities.  

David has been involved in fire and rescue volunteering for 30 years. A leading senior rescue operator and Rescue Manager for Port Stephens SES Rescue, his unit’s response area covers a significant agricultural area in the Lower Hunter. Due to the distances to travel, they and other volunteer agencies can be first emergency responders to an emergency scene.  

“Unfortunately, I’ve seen a significant number of serious injuries on farms and in remote areas. The Hunter is one of Australia’s biggest equine regions, and there’s a lot of injuries around livestock. We see a lot of injuries around cropping, grazing and livestock, and hobby farms where less experienced operators have suffered injury.  

“I’ve been to incidents where people have had their hands caught in augers and plant, where there have been children and teenagers injured as a result of overturned quad bikes and utes and many car accidents involving rural workers, farmers and their families. 

David’s experience with CareFlight 

David and his Port Stephens SES Unit are among thousands of volunteers from regions around Australia who have completed a Trauma Care Workshop run by CareFlight. 

To date, CareFlight has trained more than 7,000 people in how to save a life until professional help arrives, in hundreds of regional locations right around Australia. 

David’s team completed the training last year along with participants from NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Police and Surf Life Saving and National Parks. 

“Just a few weeks after completing the training with CareFlight we had a serious motor vehicle accident involving multiple patients in a prolonged incident. 

“Our team and other first responders were able to use the skills, including correct spinal immobilisation and preparation ready to hand over to medical professionals when they arrived.  

The skills gained continue to be used by David and his Port Stephens SES team and other first responders throughout the Lower Hunter.  

“We responded to one incident [car crash] where a police officer who had actually done the CareFlight training with us was first on scene and treating the person, using the skills to stem the bleeding. We knew exactly what to do to assist until professional help arrived. 

The impact Emergency Trauma Training will have on the community 

The three-year program kicks off in February 2023 and will see 50 workshops completed in the first year, 60 in year two and 70 in year three. 

“It’s a brilliant course. I am not exaggerating. It makes a real difference in people’s lives, in our ability to respond in those critical first minutes” 

“Ultimately, we know we are better prepared to play a part and ensure better outcomes for people and the community. 

“It is just brilliant that Nutrien are putting back into the community and investing in the trauma training with CareFlight.” 

For more information on Emergency Trauma Training – Powered by Nutrien Ag Solutions and CareFlight, click here

About CareFlight 

Established in 1986, CareFlight is an Australian aeromedical charity with a mission to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community. CareFlight operates helicopters, turbo-prop and jet aeroplanes and its doctors, paramedics and nurses treat and transfer patients from accident scenes and between hospitals. CareFlight is also a registered training organisation and since 2011 have run a community-focused national education program providing a variety of high-quality training programs. 

About Nutrien Ag Solutions 

With 4,000 employees across Australia, Nutrien Ag Solutions is the largest provider of agricultural services and inputs to farmers in Australia. Nutrien operates across every corner of the country and is a key member of the rural and regional communities in which we live and work. 


* Work-related traumatic injury fatalities Australia 2019