The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has collaborated with the Health Emergency Initiative (HEI), a non-governmental organisation, and other stakeholders to train 350 personnel on emergency and incident management as first responders on Lagos roads.
“Under this scheme in collaboration with LFR International and Federal Road Safety Commission, we are training 350, and the goal is to ensure that those who frequently find themselves at the scene of accident on the road know what to do to save lives,” Paschal Achunine, executive director, HEI, said at the training held at the LASTMA head office in Lagos, on Wednesday.
According to him, the training is to impact the needed skills aimed at ensuring that the first 20 minutes that the victim of heart attack or cardiovascular disease has to live; somebody around him or her knows what to do to keep him or her alive.
According to him, Lagos can reduce the casualty rate with well-trained first responders who know the right thing to do whenever an emergency occurs. “We expect over a 50 percent reduction in death from incidents on our roads because LASTMA officers have been trained”.
Achunine said there was a need to create an agenda for corporate organisations and the government to deploy more resources to save victims of accidents and other emergency situations.
“We need to all build together as LFR came all the way from the US to join hands with HEI, federal road safety to train this number. We can grow the number in hundreds and thousands with more funding and resources,” he said.
On the first set of LASTMA officials selected for the training, he said, “They should find themselves very lucky to be part of this training. And then once they are trained, they shouldn’t keep this training to themselves. They should train others because everybody needs to have the knowledge and capacity”.
Bolaji Oreagba, GM, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), said the essence of the training is to reduce casualties on Lagos roads to the barest minimum and to ensure the safety and security of all road users in the state.
According to him, the training aimed at impacting knowledge and equipping LASTMA officials with the latest techniques in road traffic incident management. “The essence of selecting them from various zones, departments and units is to ensure that what they acquired is passed down to other colleagues,” he said.
On his assessment of incident management on Lagos roads, Oreagba said it has been spontaneous and that relationships with sister agencies have been cordial and deep, which in turn contributed to the short response time of incident management in Lagos.
Emanuel Imafidon, chairman, board of trustees, Health Emergency Initiative (HEI), said the essence of the training was to provide the needed knowledge and capacity building for persons considered first responders in an emergency situation. “If you already have the knowledge and capability, you will use it to save somebody in society”.
Haleigh Pine, operations director, LFR International, said the training involved scene safety and how first responders can ensure everything around them is safe before they go in to offer help to others and not to put their own lives in danger in the cause of providing help to others.
“We teach them to call for help immediately and ask if the patient would like their help. And then we teach them airway, breathing and circulation (ABCs). And finally, we teach them how to transport the patient to a hospital either on a motorcycle or car or another form of transportation,” she said.