A NEW course has been launched in Sussex to give professional drivers the skills and confidence to provide first aid in emergency situations on the road.
St John Ambulance is urging drivers to include first aid in their training so drivers can be the difference between lives lost and lives saved.
In the UK in 2009, 24,690 people were seriously injured in road accidents and 2,222 people died – over six fatalities on the roads each day
1,104 LGVs were involved in serious accidents and 284 were involved in fatal accidents.
877 Buses or coaches were involved in serious accidents and 85 were involved in fatal accidents.
The charity said basic first aid delivered effectively in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive could have saved many of these lives.
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), an EU Directive, came into force in 2008/09 to maintain high driving standards and improve road safety. It requires all PCV and LGV drivers to complete 35 hours of training, which can include first aid, every five years. Yet, St John Ambulance said 81 per cent of those required to carry out Driver CPC training have not started.
If drivers are caught without proof of compliance after September 2013 (for PCVs) and September 2014 (for LGVs) then they face on-the-spot fines and an investigation which may lead to them losing their vocational licence.
The new St John Ambulance professional drivers first aid course has been approved by the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT) which validates Driver CPC training.
Sabarah Cursons, from St John Ambulance in the south east said: “If more drivers were first aid trained and knew how to react in an emergency then they could be the difference between life and death.”
There are scheduled courses at St John Ambulance’s training centres across the south east but if there is a group of drivers to train, the charity’s trainers can deliver bespoke training.
To find out more, call 0844 324 5535.