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Driver First Assist

Driver First Assist (DFA), a not for profit organisation comprising of drivers who have been trained to provide lifesaving first aid and manage the scene at a road traffic collision prior to the arrival of the emergency services.  DFA has been created with the help of the Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue services.

What is Driver First Assist?

Driver First Assist (DFA) is a not for profit organisation comprising drivers who have been trained to provide lifesaving first aid and manage the scene at a road traffic collision prior to the arrival of the emergency services.  DFA has been created with the help of the Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue services.

 

As a nation, we invest a great deal in accident prevention, but we could do much more to improve and target resources to assist initially when incidents occur. That's why we became involved in creating Driver First Assist.

The aim of DFA is to train professional drivers to become “first responders” in the event of an incident.  Professional and fleet drivers are often first at the scene of an incident and can be trained to assess the scene, apply basic first aid and be a first point of contact when the emergency services arrive. DFA will empower professional drivers to be able to offer immediate assistance at the scene of road traffic collisions.

The scheme stems from the chilling statistic that 46% of UK road fatalities could be avoided if appropriate first aid was administered before the arrival of the emergency services. Other secondary objectives include hastening the post-accident re-opening of roads, a government priority under the CLEAR project, and improving the public image of road transport as a whole. It works by volunteers undertaking training, designed to be accepted as a Driver CPC module, which extends beyond Workplace First Aid with the inclusion of basic accident scene management procedures. This includes providing full and accurate reporting of the situation to all suitable resources to be dispatched. A smartphone app, provided by BT and Google, will shortly be available to assist in this as both companies are supporting DFA.

The benefits

Transport operators understand the importance of raising the industry's profile and demonstrating a commitment to improving road safety can help fulfil that aim. What better way to help improve the image of the industry and express your authority’s support for road safety than to sport the DFA logo on your vehicles and have some of your drivers trained to deliver potentially lifesaving actions?

The Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell, is a strong supporter of DFA and the scheme has the potential to become a key element of the UK's strategic road safety agenda and save many lives.

DFA has also attracted parliamentary support with the Transport Secretary Stephen Hammond saying that he was “delighted to support the initiative” and Rob Flello MP saying that DFA would enable the haulage industry to promote crash scene first aid and crash management skills among drivers.

Interested in joining?

The first step to becoming a member of DFA is to sign drivers up to one of DFA’s nationally run training courses.  Drivers will learn how to manage the scene at an RTC and gain the skills that will enable them to deliver potentially lifesaving first aid, prior to the arrival of the emergency services. If the numbers are high enough (at least ten) we would be able to arrange for DFA’s emergency services trainers to offer the session  in-house.

The course is a one-day, 7-hour, course delivered by an instructor who is either currently serving with the emergency services or someone who has previous front line experience. The course will also count towards the Driver CPC training and on successful completion of the training course your drivers will be invited to join the ranks of DFA.

We don’t expect local authorities to train all drivers, but rather to offer a select few the opportunity to volunteer. It is a great way of promoting pride and progression amongst those drivers within your organisation. For those drivers that want to remain drivers rather than become office based, the opportunity for promotion is limited in the job. However, being offered the chance to become a DFA member would allow the driver to learn additional skills and be supported by his/her employer in this.

 

As major supporters and sponsors of DFA, we at DWF are keen to spread the word. We would be happy to come and to talk to you about how you can get involved in this fantastic initiative.

For further information please contact Vikki Woodfine, Associate on 0161 603 5060 or email vikki.woodfine@dwf.co.uk

Further information on DFA can be found at http://www.driverfirstassist.org./

By Vikki Woodfine

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

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