Fleet News

Devon County Council drivers taught to deal with road traffic collisions

Devon County Council drivers have undergone training in how to deal with road traffic collisions (RTCs) in a bid to save lives.

With five lives lost every day on UK roads, Devon County Council was keen to bolster its road safety strategy with help from Driver First Assist (DFA), which trains professional drivers.

DFA course participants learn a variety of information, from how to manage the scene of an RTC prior to the emergency services arriving, to learning basic first aid which gives drivers the skills they need to carry out life-saving first-at-scene treatment.

Nigel Flower, safer travel strategic officer, organised the course on behalf of Devon County Council. He said: "We were really keen to learn more about the structure of the course. DFA's aim is to try and reduce the number of people killed in RTCs which fits in with our road safety strategy."

Alongside a number of the council's own staff, selected members of the local police and fire service, NHS workers and employees of businesses based in the surrounding area were also invited to participate.

"With a very mixed crowd in terms of experience, we were impressed with how well the instructors were able to cater for all abilities," said Flower. "The two instructors were professional and very knowledgeable and everyone found the day extremely useful.

"The course's excellence was clearly reflected in the feedback I received from those who attended. Everyone agreed that after completing the course they now feel more confident in dealing with an RTC and assisting the emergency services.

"Driver First Assist is a fantastic initiative which really could make the vital difference to saving lives on our roads. I am very pleased we took part, and I am now keen to establish local trainers to roll the course out across Devon."

All DFA instructors are acting or retired emergency services personnel, and the DFA course itself is a condensed version of the same course created and taken by members of the fire, ambulance and police services.

David Higginbottom, founder of Driver First Assist, said: "We are confident that the DFA approach will help drive down deaths on the UK road network, but it is the support of organisations such as Devon County Council that is essential for raising awareness.

"To ensure this initiative makes a real difference to road safety we need many more fleets and drivers to sign up for the training, and we look forward to developing the work we've already started with Nigel and the team."

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