A drive to save life

Bruno Ladblack
Bruno Robert Lablack ASM
National Medal (1988)
Bruno Robert Lablack ASM (National Medal, 1988)

The boy had been struck in the head by a cricket ball. He'd stopped breathing. Before the ambulance could come, two 7-year-olds promptly resuscitated him.

The memory still causes Bruno Lablack to smile. His district first aid courses had really paid off - even if the volunteers in this case were a bit under-age.

For a man who originally 'couldn't stand the sight of blood', his 50 years as a volunteer ambulance driver in rural South Australia confronted Bruno with some horrific experiences - but he never lost sight of his goal of helping fellow Australians in desperate need.

Farmer, welding engineer, bush fire fighter, local councillor, ambulance driver, community leader and first aid teacher, Bruno doesn't know where he found the time. Besides running a farm and business he logged over 1000 mercy dashes from Keith to Adelaide, and many more elsewhere - plus another 700 trips just to attend all the ambulance service meetings.

Becoming an ambulance man during national service with the Australian Army, Bruno never forgot his training. After, he helped the town of Mt Pleasant acquire its first ambulance, and set up first aid courses throughout the district attended by almost every family. This led on to state and national leadership positions with the St John's Ambulance Service and its volunteers, including piloting the service through a major restructure. He also helped establish the 'driver reviver' program.

Bruno Lablack has received the National Medal for his outstanding and long service in helping to save the lives of his fellow Australians. He also received the Ambulance Service Medal in 2005.

The boy had been struck in the head by a cricket ball. He'd stopped breathing. Before the ambulance could come, two 7-year-olds promptly resuscitated him.

The memory still causes Bruno Lablack to smile. His district first aid courses had really paid off - even if the volunteers in this case were a bit under-age.

For a man who originally 'couldn't stand the sight of blood', his 50 years as a volunteer ambulance driver in rural South Australia confronted Bruno with some horrific experiences - but he never lost sight of his goal of helping fellow Australians in desperate need.

Farmer, welding engineer, bush fire fighter, local councillor, ambulance driver, community leader and first aid teacher, Bruno doesn't know where he found the time. Besides running a farm and business he logged over 1000 mercy dashes from Keith to Adelaide, and many more elsewhere - plus another 700 trips just to attend all the ambulance service meetings.

Becoming an ambulance man during national service with the Australian Army, Bruno never forgot his training. After, he helped the town of Mt Pleasant acquire its first ambulance, and set up first aid courses throughout the district attended by almost every family. This led on to state and national leadership positions with the St John's Ambulance Service and its volunteers, including piloting the service through a major restructure. He also helped establish the 'driver reviver' program.

Bruno Lablack has received the National Medal for his outstanding and long service in helping to save the lives of his fellow Australians. He also received the Ambulance Service Medal in 2005.