Road Crash Rescue

SES - Roles - Road Crash Rescue

Despite recent improvements in vehicle safety and road design, South Australia's roads are still a place of risk for you and your family.

SES Units in certain areas of the State are responsible for Road Crash Rescue. This means that we are the first response to a road accident scene, using skills and equipment to remove occupants quickly and safely from vehicles involved in serious road crashes.

While Ambulance services treat and transport the injured, they are not equipped to extricate victims from crash scenes. SES crews administer primary first aid, stabilise both vehicles and casualties, and then remove them for further medical attention if necessary, using the latest technology in hydraulic rescue equipment, often referred to as the "jaws of life".

Road Crash Rescue is a specialised course for which a Senior First Aid certificate is a prerequisite. Training for Road Crash Rescue is undertaken by nominated SES Units and includes handling of specialist equipment, scene assessment and traffic control, safety vehicle management, vehicle stabilisation, casualty assessment and then in sequence the removal of major vehicle sections (doors, roofs, etc) as required. SES participates in the annual State and Australasian Road Crash Rescue Challenges alongside the Fire Services, testing and refining training processes.

Minimising Road Crash Risk

There are some simple steps you can take to keep road crash risks to an absolute minimum.

What to do before you drive

  • Maintain your vehicle regularly by checking that your tyres and brakes are in good condition. 
  • Check that your tyres are correctly inflated and that all external lights are working.
  • Check your wiper blades and ensure that your windscreen washer bottle is topped up.
  • Check that your seatbelts and child restraints are in good condition and fitted correctly.

What to do when driving:

  • Be patient and obey all road laws.
  • Observe road signs - they are there for everyone's benefit.
  • Stay alert and do not assume anything about what other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians will do.

What to do when you take longer drives:

  • Plan your trip to include breaks at least every two hours.
  • Avoid alcohol completely.
  • Carry out a vehicle check beforehand including fuel, oil, radiator coolant, water and tyre pressure.
  • Check your spare tyre.
  • Stop before you become tired. 

What to do when you drive in wet weather:

  • Maintain a longer following distance.
  • Slow down.
  • Break earlier than you normally would.
  • Leave a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Turn on your lights.


SES Road Crash 1