As part of the activities of the EuroMed Road Safety Programme and the road safety pilot project ‘We Got Together So That No Road Separates You’ launched on the 16th of May 2014 in Beirut, 40 Internal Security Forces officers were trained on delivering first aid to crash victims. This capacity building event, held on the 26th and 27th of June, was delivered by Lebanese Red Cross trainers and experts thanks to funds provided by Roads for Life – The Talal Kassem Fund for Trauma Care, one of the main stakeholders in the pilot project for Lebanon. It serves at improving the emergency health response to crashes in the pilot area between Antelias and Byblos on the coastal highway north of Beirut.
Before launching the training, GRSP MENA’s regional manager, Samar Abouraad, stressed on the importance of the role which the Internal Security Forces have to play in the pilot project. She stated at the training, ‘Lives cannot be saved without the cooperation of all concerned sectors, therefore what you will be doing today is the first step towards more coordination with emergency health services for the benefit of the community’.
Police officers from the Jounieh and Jdeideh detachments, which fall within the pilot area, were shown how to assist crash victims prior to the arrival of paramedics and their transfer to hospital where they receive the necessary trauma care by professionals. The training was delivered in an interactive atmosphere and it ended with the officers applying their skills in practical scenarios. One participant expressed that ‘learning how to secure the crash site, to stabilise victims and to administer CPR will give me the confidence to approach the injured and save their lives rather than standing aside and feeling helpless’. A Certificate Awarding Ceremony was held at the end of the second day of training in the presence of the Chief of Beirut Traffic Section, President of Roads for Life, GRSP MENA’s regional manager, representatives from the Lebanese Red Cross, in addition to the press. Chief of Beirut Traffic Section, General Mohammad Al-Ayoubi, stated that building the capacity of Internal Security Forces officers in the delivery of first aid for crash victims helps in saving precious lives and he hopes for further cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross on the issue.
The pilot project in Lebanon falls within the 3-year EuroMed Transport: Support to the MENA Road Safety Programme funded by the European Union. The project aims at reducing the number of road crash deaths resulting from excessive speed and drink driving on the road segment between Antelias and Byblos north of the Lebanese capital Beirut.