Glenn Rippon, Colac VIC
Former firefighter, ambulance driver and undertaker, Glenn Rippon has seen many a result of what can happen if you don’t take a break from driving during a long trip.
For 34 years, he has helped lower the national road toll by serving motorists a chat, a cuppa and a snack at the Colac Driver Reviver site in the western district of Victoria two hours (150km) from Melbourne.
The Colac site is supported by RoadSafe Otway, which supports local and state road safety in the Colac Otway and Corangamite shires, and of which Glenn is outgoing chairman.
As Driver Reviver Colac site co-ordinator, Glenn organises its 35 volunteers to mow the lawns, clean the site and engage with the community to ensure the site opens multiple days each year.
Glenn has volunteered with the program the entire time, joining when he retired from the Country Fire Authority after 41 years.
"At one stage, I was in the fire brigade during the day and did my first aid training and ambulance training at night."
He attended road crashes with unfortunate regularity.
One particularly bad crash at a notorious intersection about 15km out of town involving a tourist minibus and two trucks stuck in his mind: he made four trips to the hospital in the ambulance that night, and a couple of people died.
Glenn was also a part-time undertaker at the time.
He joined the Driver Reviver program as a volunteer to help save lives.
"The number of times people have pulled into the site with their eyes hanging out of their heads after having driven 10 or 12 hours straight, often with their husband or wife in the car and little kids on the back seat is really sobering", Glenn says.
"Drivers need to take a break at least every two hours, get out of the car and stretch their legs, get a bit of air into them and have a cuppa and something to eat before they start