The incorrect response at a crash scene can result in further injury to victims, experts in the correct procedure reinforced at the second annual Autofest, staged by the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) at its Central Avenue headquarters, Swallowfield, on Saturday, June 2.
Kenroy Cole, managing director of A&E Ambulance Services, who demonstrated proper post-crash procedures at the fair, said that well-intentioned bystanders often cause further injuries when they pull victims from vehicles at crash scenes.
"Unless there is a fire after an accident, untrained persons should not attempt to remove persons from crashed vehicles," Cole said. The general rule is to seek professional assistance first.
However, he advised, "If an injured person must be removed without professional assistance, keep the head of the victim straight and in line with the spine. Twisting the head of an accident victim during the rescue can cause further injury or even death".
Duane Ellis, general manager of the JAA, noted that "good post-crash response is at the heart of the roadside assistance service that we provide to our members, and we wanted to use this opportunity to illustrate how this should be done correctly."
Live demonstrations of correct post-crash response were carried out during the day by emergency medical technicians from A&E Ambulance Services.
"Participants were also able to learn some of the basic techniques that will guide their actions if they have to remove someone from a crashed vehicle," Ellis stated.
Autofest, which was organised in collaboration with the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ), under the theme 'Car Care for Safe Motoring', provided motorists with complimentary vehicle-maintenance services, such as car washes, vacuuming and vehicle inspections.
In addition, the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, the Island Traffic Authority, the National Works Agency and the National Road Safety Council also provided information about road safety to the more than 650 patrons who attended Autofest.
CAPTION: Kenroy Cole (right), paramedic and managing director of A & E Ambulance Services, is assisted in removing a volunteer from a damaged vehicle during a simulation exercise that showed how proper post-crash procedures are to be used. The activity was part of the Autofest auto fair on Saturday, June 2, organised by the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) in collaboration with the Insurance Association of Jamaica (IAJ), at the JAA's 7 Central Avenue headquarters. - Contributed
CAPTION: Adam Harris (right), VW brand manager, ATL Autohaus, shows the Golf GTI VW to Earl Jarrett, chairman of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), a subsidiary of the JN group, at the JAA's fair on Central Avenue, St Andrew, on Saturday, June 2.- Rudolph Brown/Photographer