Monday, July 14th, 2014

A Royal Australian Air Force nursing officer is being praised for helping to save a young boy’s life in the Philippines.

Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Ben James is among a group of Australian Defence Force specialists deployed to the Philippines as part of Pacific Partnership, a United States-sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance exercise aimed at strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations in the Asia-Pacific.

FLTLT James, from No1 Expeditionary Health Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland, was the officer-in-charge of triage at a Tacloban medical clinic when the nine year old arrived in a critical condition.

“We were finished for the day, after seeing more than 600 patients, when the boy was brought into the clinic by his family members, who were very distressed,” he said.

“He was having a very severe seizure, initially his pulse was rapid, but then it faded to very slow, which made us worried he wasn’t going to make it.”

FLTLT James and a US Navy medical specialist joined forces to keep the boy alive as a Philippines Army truck was brought in to rush him from the clinic to a hospital where local doctors continued his treatment. Eventually the boy was given the all clear.

US Navy doctor Lieutenant Scott Olsen said the boy would have died had FLTLT James not resuscitated him.

“FLTLT James should be very proud of himself for his life saving deed,” he said.

FLTLT James is one of nine Australian Defence Force personnel involved in Pacific Partnership 2014 in Tacloban, in the southern Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in October last year.

This year, Pacific Partnership 2014 has delivered assistance including medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid to Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Media note:
Imagery can be found at

FLTLT James will be available for interview. Please contact Defence Media Operations for further information.

Media contact:
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999


Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF


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