In a first, first-aid training for 2,000 traffic aid personnel

Increase in accidents on Mumbai-Pune expressway and highways prompted health department to start the initiative

In a first, the state health department will train 2,000 officers at 63 Traffic AID Posts (TAPs) in basic first aid as they are among the first to render assistance to accident victims. Beginning February 15, phasewise training sessions will be conducted by teams from various district hospitals.

A TAP is like a traffic police station comprising three officers and 30 constables and drivers. In course of their duties, police officers frequently encounter accident victims, and are have to render assistance, including, at times, giving emergency first aid and arranging for medical assistance.

The increas in accidents on the Mumbai-Pune expressway and highways prompted the health department to start the initiative so that lives of accident victims can be saved while they are waiting for medical assistance.

Dr Archana Patil, State director of health, told The Indian Express that the role of officers, whose main main function is to check traffic jams on highways and take immediate measures to clear them, in rendering first aid can be vital to saving lives of accident victims.

Health officials said there is a need to train officers on this aspect. "We need to explain concepts of how to classify patients under the triage system and other aspects like A-airways - B-breathing- C-circulation of the patient." said a health official.

The four conditions considered immediately life-threatening in an emergency situation are unconsciousness, no breathing or difficulty in breathing, no pulse and extensive loss of blood. As a rule, the victim is not moved without medical assistance.

"However, in the first aid training, we will explain how cops can check for injuries or any other illness symptom like diabetes or high blood pressure," Patil explained.

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