Bridgestone and the Australian Trucking Association have underlined their commitment to Australia’s transport industry with the launch today of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award.
The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award honours the great community service performed by professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those around them during the course of their normal work.
Bridgestone and the Australian Trucking Association launched the award today at the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in Melbourne.
The inaugural winner of the award has been announced as Brad Morrison of Nightingale Transport.
On Thursday 14 November last year, Brad Morrison came upon the scene of a tragic accident on the Cunningham Highway near Aratula which had left a young mother unconscious and both her and her baby trapped in a burning car.
Brad was able to get through the flames, smoke and fuel surrounding the scene to rescue the 10 month old girl from the back seat. An explosion occurred shortly afterwards. Sadly, the mother could not be rescued.
“Brad’s selfless actions sum up everything that the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award stands for,” Andrew Moffatt, Managing Director of Bridgestone Australia Ltd, said.
“His bravery in the face of extreme danger speaks volumes, not only for Brad himself but also for the trucking community in general.
“Bridgestone is proud to affirm our commitment to the trucking industry by supporting this important ATA initiative. We’re also enormously pleased that the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian will help to highlight some of the excellent people in this industry.”
Brad was on one of his regular runs when he came upon the accident.
"I was just past Cunningham's Gap on the way into Brisbane - I do that run quite a lot - when I got a call over the UHF radio that a truck had gone into the bushes. I slowed down and came round the bend, expecting to see him just run off the road, and saw a big crash instead - the truck was jack knifed and there was a little car, all on fire,” Brad said.
“There was diesel all around from the truck. The crash must have ruptured the main tank - I reckon he'd only just filled up - so there was probably about fifteen hundred litres spilling around.
“I pulled up and jumped out as quick as I could to see if there was anything I could do to help. As I came up around the back on the little car, I could hear a baby crying.
“I just had to get in there, I had to get the baby out.”
ATA Chair Noelene Watson said Brad was a highly deserving recipient of the award.
“While we would like to extend our greatest sympathies to the family, Brad’s quick thinking and decisive action enabled him to save the child at great risk to his own life,” she said.
“For these reasons, it is our great pleasure to present Brad with the first Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award.”
A Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidate may be acknowledged at any time during the year. The title is not exclusive to one person, but rather will belong to a growing number of drivers over time.
Each award recipient will be hosted to the ATA’s national Trucking Australia event, including flights, full delegate registration and accommodation. New Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardians will be honoured at the ATA Foundation Sponsors Gala Dinner.
Potential Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian candidates can be brought to the ATA’s attention at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.