Beware: Snakes active in recent variable weather

Pindimar and Bundabah residents learnt life-saving skills at the Resilience seminar earlier this year.

SNAKES are active and around, as one Pindimar local was reminded during a recent close encounter.

“I normally wear boots and jeans around the yard, but was in thongs as I headed to the car to go swimming at Tea Gardens pool,” recounted Doug Gillespie.

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“When I moved some wood and tools, I must have disturbed the Brown Snake, and it came straight out and hit my foot, and was gone so quickly.”

“I just saw a black body, no more than one metre long… and two holes running blood from my heel.”

Doug’s wife Kathy, who had recently been part of the Pindimar Bundabah Community Association’s Resilience First Aid Training, said, “Thankfully, we had recently done the course.”

“First, I calmed the patient, called the ambulance, laid him down and bandaged as instructed, keeping him calm and giving water.

“After the 000 call, the ambulance only took fifteen minutes to get here, and they seemed impressed, asking “Who did the bandage?”

“We had just had a very good instructional day on First Aid, so I was confident how to act.”

Like all snake bites, Doug’s was treated as a ‘worst-case scenario’ and he was taken to the Mater Hospital, where a series of blood tests confirmed the good news: it was a ‘dry bite’, the snake’s fangs had punctured, but not delivered any venom.

“Brown snakes and red-bellied blacks are very common around here, especially in the bush near the main beaches,” Kelly Pietsch, the local First Aid instructor at the Pindimar course, told NOTA.

“Snakes are quite deaf and blind, they work on vibrations, so back away slowly,” Kelly explained.

“If bitten, remain still, immobilise the casualty, and splint the limb if possible – follow DRSABCD.”

“The warmer weather means its important people are educated about the risk of snake bites, and everyone should have a special snake bandage that has tension indicators on it.”

St John Ambulance has more specific and official information on treating snake bites, including an important list of “do NOTs”, found online at

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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