Driver First Assist launched at CV Show

Posted on 22nd April 2013 By Charlotte McGhie

A major new initiative which could both play a dramatic role in reducing road traffic accident casualties and produce a much needed enhancement in the image of the road transport industry in the eyes of the public has been launched at the CV Show in Birmingham.

Driver First Assist (DFA) is an exciting new life-saving road safety initiative which is supported nationally by all three emergency services and has broad industry support through Skills for Logistics, the transport industry’s sector skills council.

The brainchild of former truck driver, Business Development Director at the Road Transport Industry Training Board and General Secretary of the United Road Transport Union, David Higginbottom, DFA will empower professional drivers – starting with truck drivers – to provide initial first aid support at the scene of road traffic collisions (RTC).

“We believe we have an effective strategy to train a significant number of drivers, starting with HGV drivers, but moving on to include van, car fleet and bus and coach drivers over time. These are the drivers out there on the roads where accidents happen and as such are best placed to offer immediate assistance”, says David Higginbottom.

“Our vision is for hundreds – if not, ultimately, thousands – of trained personnel equipped to take action in the first critical moments after a RTC. Simple first aid techniques could do much to reduce casualties while the emergency services own ability to perform would be dramatically enhanced by receiving an onsite situation report the moment they arrive on scene”, said Mr Higginbottom.

The initiative has the active support of the police through the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the fire service through the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the ambulance service through the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), who believe DFA has the potential to become an important extension of the ambulance service not dissimilar to Community First Responders. The NHS is also behind DFA and so is Britain’s Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell. See full list of supporters enclosed.

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