Belmont, Perth,
30
August
2013
|
05:02
Australia/Perth

clicktosave: Teaching young drivers lifesaving skills

A Perth cinema became a mass casualty scene last night when St John Ambulance exposed 250 young people to what it would be like to be involved in a sudden car crash. Video, sound effects, fake blood and injuries combined in a graphic simulation to highlight the importance of knowing first aid after a crash.

"This incredibly powerful demonstration really hit home how few people have the simple first aid skills needed to help someone who has been injured in a road accident. Up to 28 West Australian lives could be saved every year if first aid training was mandatory for drivers," said St John Ambulance Deputy CEO, Anthony Smith.

"Research shows that up to 15% of road accident deaths can be prevented by administering basic first aid at the scene of the accident before emergency services arrive.

"The frightening truth is that it takes only four minutes for unconscious road victims with no serious injuries to die from a blocked airway. And even with one of the best ambulance services in the world, it can take up to 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at an accident scene.

"These needless deaths can be avoided. That’s why St John is campaigning for all new drivers to complete the

clicktosave first aid course before passing their drivers licence. It’s free, it takes less than 30 minutes and it could help save a life," added Anthony.

Last year 182 West Australians died on our roads, so far this year there have been 110 fatalities. In an online survey of more than 5,000 West Australians carried out by St John Ambulance:

  • 95% of West Australians believed that all new drivers should learn first aid as a part of getting their drivers licence.
  • Almost 94% think if more drivers knew first aid so they could assist at a road accident, it would help reduce the road death toll in WA.
  • More than 84% felt more confident in offering medical assistance at the scene of an accident after completing St John’s online first aid course.

Luka Buchanan was one of 50 ‘car crash victims’ at Thursday night’s movie screening. The 16 year old said she was surprised by her friend’s reactions.

"It was an incredibly real experience. When the car crashed on the screen and my friends saw my injuries, they didn’t know what to do. The guy to my left he just sat there waiting for someone else to do something," said Luka.

"It makes you realise that at times like that people only have moments to react and work out how they can help. It’s certainly made me want to do the clicktosave course before I get my driver’s licence because who knows who I might be able to help. It could be my best friend or even a member of my own family."

Luka’s friend Rachel Moody said she felt completely helpless.

"There was the crash on the screen and then it all happened so quickly, I saw the injuries on Luka and I didn’t know what to do. I always thought I’d be calm and be a hero and do the right thing but I froze. This really made me realise that I wasn’t prepared when I should have been," said Rachel.

‘We all have the opportunity to save lives and I think no matter how busy we are, we can all spare 30 minutes to equip ourselves with basic first aid," said paramedic Jilly Smith.

"That’s why we St John continues to push for mandatory first aid training for learner drivers. It has been our position for some time and we will continue to work with government to ensure every new driver knows first aid."

For more information or to complete St John Ambulance’s online first aid training visit www.clicktosave.com.au