International Road Federation (IRF) initiated Enhanced First Aid (eFD) Training for Drivers of Commercial Vehicles through its newly incorporated arm – IRF-ICMOT (International Collaborative Centre for Mitigation of Adverse Outcomes relating to Road Traffic Injuries) in December 2015. With the blessings of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H), a Pilot programme for training 10,000 commercial vehicle truck drivers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and in the states of Punjab and Tamil Nadu in Enhanced First Aid was first taken up. From April 2016 onwards, the programme has been continued by the IRF as an ongoing programme under this initiative. So far, around 20,000 commercial truck drivers have been trained.
As part of the Project, a Training Manual was developed and translated into several local languages. An independent Evaluation, commissioned by the IRF, showed that the training was found useful by the trainees.
IRF has since extended the programme to cover the Training of Trainers and Community at large in association with JPN Apex Trauma Centre – AIIMS (JPNATC–AIIMS).
For furthering this activity, around 24 master Trainers selected from the retired JCOs of the Army Medical Corps were first trained in association with JPNATC – AIIMS, New Delhi. A customized training module developed specially for this purpose was used for conducting the training, which was imparted by the senior Staff of the JPNATC-AIIMS.
In association with National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), a pilot project has been undertaken at seven different locations on a 138 km. stretch of NH-37 corridor between Dibrugarh-Jorhat, Assam. Doctors from AIIMS Trauma Centres in Assam were associated with the training. A total of 189 volunteers of the road side communities on this stretch, including owners of food stalls were trained to create competency and capacity in eFD and trauma first-aid (TFD).
More recently, IRF in association with the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore also trained around 50 rural volunteers of the International Association of Human Values (IAHV) in eFD in October 2017. The training, using the local language, adopted an inclusive approach to target participants from road side habitations, community volunteers, road side facilities, petrol pumps, dhabas, other road side amenities and establishments. The process of induction of trainees also covered the population around Blackspots identified in preliminary survey conducted prior to the training.
The IRF strongly believes that eFD training will make a significant and important contribution to the goal of reducing the number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents. The rationale on which eFD is based is that in case of a traffic accident, other road users, nearby citizens, the drivers and occupants of other vehicles, as well as members of road side facilities are likely to reach the victim before any formal qualified rescue service. Competence, capacity and confidence developed in the local community, road stakeholders and road users through eFD training to be first responders for traffic injuries can have a major impact on reduction of mortality and morbidity on the roads.
The eFD training focuses specifically on the skills necessary to recognise and respond to the injuries that professional drivers are likely to encounter. The hardware and equipments that eFD depends on are not hard to find, being locally and commonly available such as blankets, bed sheets and locally available pieces of wood etc.
The competencies on which the trainees are tested for successful completion of eFD course include recognising serious injuries and illnesses, especially those they would encounter in the course of long distance commercial driving in developing countries. The intention is to get casualties safely and in the best possible way, within resource constraints, to qualified healthcare providers or healthcare facilities – “to bring them safely”, so to speak.
The training programme is targeted to deliver practical hands-on skills to improve survival opportunities, customized in particular to handle trauma and injuries, to meet the minimum medical and resuscitation, required for safe transportation of the patient. The training also focusses on Airways Management, Splinting, Bandages and Tourniquet Techniques, Helmet Removal & Immobilization, Extrication & Initial Assessment and CPR. The training also creates awareness regarding the recently enacted Good Samaritan Law.
Details of course content are1. Approach to an acutely ill or injured patient (casualty)
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