WEST Midlands Ambulance Service is backing calls for all professional drivers to join a new scheme that could literally save hundreds of lives each year.
‘Driver First Assist’ is a not for profit organisation that is organising first aid training specifically for commercial drivers who come across or are involved in a road traffic collision (RTC).
Approximately half of all RTC deaths happen before the emergency services have time to arrive.
For example, death from a blocked airway can happen in a matter of minutes.
However, with some simple first aid techniques, the life of the individual could be saved until ambulance staff arrive to carry out more complicated life-saving procedures, if required.
The man behind Driver First Assist is former lorry driver David Higginbottom. He said: “I know from my own experience the number of times I have come across really serious road accidents where I wasn’t able to help. With some basic first aid knowledge and some simple equipment, I could have made a difference.
“Our vision is to get hundreds and eventually thousands of commercial drivers trained up so they are able to act in the first critical moments after an accident.”
The scheme has the backing of all three emergency services: the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, the Association of Chief Police Officers; and the Chief Fire Officers Association.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman, added: “As an organisation that is committed to training people in our community in basic first aid, this is an excellent scheme. We already get a huge amount of support from the 1,000+ community first responders across the West Midlands who regularly save lives.
“Through the HeartStart programmes around the region, thousands of people are learning the techniques that could mean the difference between life or death for a loved one or someone they come across in the street.
“Given the nature of their jobs, it seems eminently sensible that professional drivers take the time to learn how to save a life and the Driver First Assist scheme will help them achieve that.”
The DFA training course has been developed by the emergency services and is delivered by an instructor who is either currently serving as a paramedic, police or fire officer, or someone who has front-line experience. In this region, training takes place in Tamworth and Stoke You will also be issued with your DFA Toolkit comprising:
· Light weight long sleeve hi viz vest
· First aid kit
· Indemnity insurance
If you are a professional driver, this 7-hour module will count towards your Driver CPC Periodic Training.
Driver First Assist: 1 Scott Place 2 Hardman Street Manchester M3 3AA Tel: 030 30 40 10 20 Web: www.driverfirstassist.org Twitter @Driver1Assist