ASSIST247 ARTICLES - ROADSIDE EMERGENCIES
Keeping your head in an emergency
How you react to roadside emergencies could save lives. As a statement this is not meant to cause panic or alarm, no matter how panicky or alarming the idea may seem, instead we wish merely to prepare you for the worst, no matter where you go you’ll be prepared to handle any situation that you come across. Arrive Alive provides some important information for those who arrive first at an accident.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your vehicle is safely parked off the road and that you turn on all available lights, including hazard lights to make the scene as obvious as possible (but not bright lights, as you could cause yet another accident). Put out your emergency triangles if you have them. The next step is to phone emergency services. Netcare has a national call-centre number - 082 911 - which we recommend you save in your phone. If you need advice to deal with an urgent problem that won’t wait for help to arrive, emergency services will talk you through all necessary procedures.
If you have a first aid kit in your car (and you should have one), take it out and put on the rubber gloves. Keep the accident victims as calm as possible and let them know that help is on the way. One of the most important things to remember is not to move any of the people injured in the accident unless their lives are in immediate danger, e.g. from a fire. Ensure that the patient is breathing and then monitor them to ensure that they continue to do so. If they aren’t breathing and you have received the appropriate training, you may administer CPR. If you don’t have any training, check with emergency services about what to do. Try to stop any heavy bleeding by applying constant pressure with any available (clean) material, e.g. a t-shirt, towel, blanket or gauze from the first aid kit.
Lastly, when help has arrived and the scene is under control, you can access Assist 247 from your cell phone (http://m.assist247.co.za) to find a reputable towing service for the vehicles if necessary.