- Department for Transport provides grant to support Driver First Assist campaign
- Road Haulage Association offers Driver First Assist training to members
Driver First Assist (DFA), the not-for-profit road safety initiative is pleased to announce two exciting new developments in its goal to reduce deaths and life-limiting injuries on the nation’s roads.
DFA trains drivers to use life-saving techniques at the scene of a collision, providing the skills needed to help manage dangerous situations, and to assist those injured before the paramedics arrive.
The announcements are due to be made at a special event held at the House of Commons, (Wednesday, 18 January).
The event, hosted by Rob Flello MP, Chairman of Parliament’s Freight Transport Group, will include a keynote speech from The Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP, Minister of State at the Department for Transport as well as an address by Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association.
Following a thorough review of DFA’s campaign aims and processes, the organisation has been awarded significant financial support from the Department for Transport. The funding will be used to help DFA communicate the benefits of first responder training to a wider audience, including professional drivers, fleet operators and transport managers.
Speaking of the funding, Chief Executive and director of DFA, David Higginbottom said: “DFA has been successfully operating training courses for over two years and in that time we’ve heard of a number of instances where DFA members have been able to assist at the scene of a road traffic incident. The funding from the Department for Transport is vital to help us increase awareness and uptake of the courses. With significant numbers of trained DFA members on our roads we can guarantee, working in partnership with the emergency services, a reduction in preventable deaths, lessen the severity of injuries and enabling the faster re-opening of roads after major incidents, key benefits for all concerned.”
RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett was also enthusiastic about the initiative. “The DFA scheme ticks all our boxes. Proper emergency training really can make the difference between life and death for the victim and even non-drivers should be encouraged to take the training. In addition to the obvious life-saving benefits, the scheme will also go a long way to raising the profile of the industry with other road users.
“Regrettably, we can’t stop road accidents from happening – but a 7-hour course could well make the difference between life and death.”
From January 2017 DFA courses will be available at a discounted rate to RHA members. Courses will be delivered throughout the year at both customer premises and RHA offices in Peterborough, Bradford and Livingstone.
David Higginbottom concluded: “None of the work we’ve completed so far would have been possible without the support of the many people who understand the opportunities this campaign holds. We now call upon the wider transport industry to get involved. Their commitment to putting sufficient numbers of drivers through the training will make our roads a safer place for the many thousands of people who use them every day.”
Every DFA course counts towards Driver CPC training and has the support of all three emergency services. All DFA instructors are either currently serving or recently retired traffic police officers, fire officers or paramedics and the training course and delivery have been externally accredited by NCFE.