Major roads get emergency response posts

THE National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has begun the process of establishing 100 Emergency Response and First Aid Posts (ERFAP) at strategic locations along the major highways of the country.

Eight of such posts are already completed and fully equipped with medical items, VHF portable two-way radio device, safety boots and bicycles.

They are located at Asuboi, Bunso Junction, Asankare and Juaso on the Accra-Kumasi Highway; Toje, near Kasseh, and Nogokpo on the Accra-Aflao highway; and Okyereko and Gomoa Ankamu, near Apam Junction, on the Accra-Takoradi highway.

The construction of the eight ERFAP which would feed into major hospitals on the major corridors of Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Aflao, and Accra-Takoradi highways was funded by the World Bank under the Transport Sector Project (TSP) 

They would be managed by the Ghana Red Cross Society with support from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), St. John’s Ambulance, Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Police Service on a 24-hour basis.

The ERFAP project is aimed at minimizing death during car crashes while sustaining life of victims through emergency response measures and in line with the framework of the National Road Safety Strategy III (2011-2020).

Inaugurating one of the eight facilities at Gomoa Ankamu in the Central Region last Friday, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said the establishment of the ERFAP was triggered by the lack of capacities of the Ghana Red Cross Society and the National Ambulance Service to deal with emergency response issues within the context of providing medical care for road traffic crash victims.

The outcome of such deficit, he noted, was that crash victims were attended to either late or by persons without the requisite training who in their quest to offer  help these victims, ended up causing more harm and in many cases death, due to poor handling.

“The Road Safety Commission therefore undertook to strengthen the national capacities for post-crash care to victims of road traffic crashes through advocacy and resource mobilization with the view to equip the National Ambulance Services with dedicated ambulances for victims of road traffic crashes, including training of Emergency Medical Technicians (ETMs), and install fully equipped First Aid Posts at strategic locations along the national road network in addition to training of respondents,” he explained.

According to Mr Asiamah, though the target of the NRSC was to establish 100 of such facilities across the country, the agency lacked the financial capacity to undertake the project, and appealed to public spirited organizations and individuals encouraged by the gesture of the World Bank, to include same in their corporate social responsibilities.

Using the occasion to launch the 2019 Easter Road Safety Campaign, the

transport minister reminded motorists of the risks associated with the activities during the festivities and cautioned them of over speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol among others.

The NRSC, he revealed, would in the coming days scale up its visibility with additional support from NABCO and other volunteers at major bus terminals and road corridors across the country to reinforce global best practices in road safety

The Executive Director of the NRSC, Madam Mary Obiri Yeboah, on her part said the manhandling of crash victims had contributed to a large extent, the number of people who died through road traffic crashes, hence, the establishment of the facilities as part of their contributions to emergency services.

The Secretary-General, Ghana Red Cross Society, Kofi Addo, commenting on the facilities expressed the belief that the number of death recorded through road traffic crashes would be reduced with the coming on stream such facilities.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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