Naga to equip PUV drivers with first aid skills

A new ordinance in this city in the Bicol region will train drivers of jeepneys, trimobiles, padyak, and e-trikes to become first responders during road crashes.

NAGA CITY, Philippines – Giving public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers with basic life support training means equipping them as first aid providers. A new ordinance in Naga City, Camarines Sur, will be doing just that.

City Ordinance Number 2018-025 requires all drivers of PUVs – jeepneys, trimobiles, padyak, and e-trikes – plying the city roads to undergo the “Driver as First Aider Training” as part of the city’s Basic Life Support Program.

This will give them the capacity to serve as first aid providers and make them ready for "immediate assistance on emergency situations" arising from road crashes "while responders and medical personnel are on their way," said Councilor Joselito del Rosario, a co-author of the city ordinance.

Del Rosario cited a study that shows more than 50% of deaths in road crashes occur within the first few minutes of the incident. If first aid would be given within those crucial moments, up to 85% of those deaths could be prevented.

The councilor said many of the victims of road mishaps suffer cardiac arrest. If drivers can do the cardio pulmonary resuscitation or CPR, especially in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can double or triple the patient's chances of surviving.

PUV drivers have one concern, though: they'll lost a day's income if they don't work and instead attend the training session, according to youth councilor Allysia Mariefrance Rodriguez.

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