KOMATIPOORT – The Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL) hosted a special road accident workshop for stakeholdersnear Tenbosch on the N4 on January 30, which aimed to teach them how to best respond to road accidents.
Attendees included the departments of transport and health, SAPS, the Road Traffic Management Corporation, Nkomazi Local Municipality, TRAC N4 and emergency personnel from Mozambique.
John Erasmus, assistant director for safety engineering at DCSSL, said responding adequately to any emergency situation could mean the difference between life and death. He stated that it is important that everyone is well acquainted with protocols and the roles they need to play as confusion among accident responders could compromise victims’ safety.
The workshop started off with a staged crash and various stakeholders were required to respond as if they were attending an actual accident scene. Erasmus stated that it enhanced participants’ awareness of the various protocols they each needed to observe, ranging from incident detection, mobilising other required services, situational analysis, scene management to recovery and rehabilitation.
According to Erasmus, Mozambique emergency practitioners are critical stakeholders because many South Africans frequently visit there and it is important to have a common manner in which to respond to crashes in both countries.
“We need to approach crash scenes in a uniformed manner to eliminate unnecessary loss of lives due to inadequacy in how emergency situations are sometimes responded to. Proper management contributes to reduction of secondary incidents and injury severity,” Erasmus said.
The stakeholders met after the simulation to discuss areas they felt they needed improvement. The delegates from Mozambique were glad to be a part of the exercise as they can implement what they learned and improve.
They also stated that they would appeal to authorities to allocate more resources to emergency personnel to better respond to road-crash scenes.
Erasmus said similar workshops will be held across the country and Mozambican representatives will receive further training by the national Department of Transport.