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Driver First Assist Initiative Turns HGV Drivers into Life-Savers by Laura Jeeves

Driver First Assist Initiative Turns HGV Drivers into Life-Savers by
Article Posted: 03/01/2017
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Articles Written: 4221
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Driver First Assist Initiative Turns HGV Drivers into Life-Savers

For the UK's many hard working HGV drivers traversing our 245,000 miles of road, the amount of time they spend on the job means that, through circumstance and by nature of their work, they are quite often the first on the scene of a road traffic accident. While of course not a welcome aspect of their job, having the confidence, knowledge and skills to be able to provide assistance at a crash or collision site offers great peace of mind to HGV drivers and could be potentially life-saving for someone else.

Driver First Assist

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has endorsed an important initiative supported by the three national emergency services (Ambulance, Police, Fire and Rescue), which trains HGV drivers to be vital first responders. The Chief executive of the RHA has identified the drivers of the country's approximately 496,000 HGVs as "a huge, immediate response resource".

The Vital First Minutes

Training drivers through the DFA is an incredibly important initiative as the medical treatment received in the vital first few minutes after a road traffic accident is critical to the survival of a seriously injured person. It's a tragic statistic that more than 50% of gravely injured road victims die at the scene before emergency services can get to them. In the UK, the target for an ambulance to get to a scene is 8 minutes; that sounds incredibly quick, but when paired with the knowledge that someone with a blocked airway will die within 4 minutes, it becomes clear that the medical knowledge of those first on the scene can, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death.

The Knock-On Effect

While clearly the most important one, saving lives isn't the only reason the DFA is a valuable initiative, according to the RHA's Chief Executive. Richard Burnett says that having more HGV drivers trained to manage the first few minutes of the scene at an accident site will reduce the risk of traffic delays, road closures and congestion after a collision.

Join a Course

For anyone looking to sign up to complete a DFA course, they'll be running all year at various times and venues. (See their website for schedule.) If you're a member of the RHA you'll receive a discount off the £95 (+VAT) per person cost, which covers three year's membership (of the DFA).

The course includes a seven-hour training session (group sessions available) plus the DFA Toolkit – which comprises a first aid kit, ID card, window sticker, key ring, indemnity insurance and a hi-visibility jacket.

The course covers:

• Basic life-saving techniques at the scene. • General safety of yourself and others at a crash scene. • Procedures to notify emergency services with accurate information.

First on the Scene, Saving Lives

All HGV drivers should consider investing in the DFA course in order to gain the confidence to be able to make a real difference in the unfortunate event of a serious road traffic accident. A few hours of time and a small financial investment could quite possibly save someone's life – and the cost of that is immeasurable.

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching HGV drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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