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First aid skills for delivery bikers.

THOUSANDS of food delivery drivers in Bahrain will be trained in first aid to provide roadside assistance to accident victims, it has emerged.

The ambitious nationwide safety campaign, expected to be launched after Ramadan, will be spearheaded by the Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS).

Under the programme the bikers will also be taught to take care of themselves in case they are injured in an accident.

"These people deliver food all over Bahrain on a daily basis and they know the areas and neighbourhoods well," BRSC secretary general Dr Fawzi Amin told the GDN.

"We want to train them in first aid so that in case of a road accident, they can provide assistance to an injured person before an ambulance arrives," he said.

"This is the first time such a project is going to be launched in the region.

"We are preparing a short and intensive training programme covering the basics of first aid focusing on fractures, burns and how to tend to wounds."

Dr Amin said after attending a custom-made four-hour crash course the bikers will receive a certificate and a special first aid sticker.

"The stickers will indicate that the person has been trained in first aid."

The training will initially be conducted free of charge with the help of BRCS staff and volunteers at either the society headquarters next to Bait Al Quran in Hoora, or at the delivery drivers' workplaces.

Dr Amin said talks are underway with restaurant owners to encourage their staff to attend the course and eventually they will be charged a nominal fee.

First aid kits will also be provided to the delivery drivers after they complete the training.

According to Dr Amin the second phase of the project will cover heavy vehicle drivers and the introduction of mandatory hours of first aid training for those trying obtaining a driving licence.

"A proper plan to make first aid training compulsory before being granted a driving licence will be presented to the traffic authorities.

"Each applicant will be required to undergo certain number of hours of first aid training, only after which they will be given a driving test date."

The training project also comes after several cases of injuries, and even death, among bikers were reported over the years.

Three fatalities, and 17 cases of serious injuries, among bikers were reported in the first three months of the year, traffic culture director at the General Directorate of Traffic Lieutenant Colonel Osama Bahar told MPs in March.

This compared with 10 motorcycle deaths last year and seven in 2016.

"In the past few years, we have noticed an increasing number of accidents involving bikers, with the majority of them being delivery boys employed by various restaurants in Bahrain," said Dr Fawzi Amin.

In January, a councillor said he was launching a campaign against delivery drivers, claiming reckless bikers were causing mayhem in his constituency.

Southern Municipal Council chairman Ahmed Al Ansari said he had been inundated with complaints about restaurant delivery bikers veering between cars, scratching vehicles and even mounting the pavement.

In addition to causing misery among other motorists, he also accused delivery drivers of risking their own lives and others through irresponsible behaviour.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:May 23, 2018
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