BEING well prepared for holiday travel, reaching a destination safely and putting an emergency plan in place will go a long way to ensuring a happy festive season, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service.
The QAS is urging travellers to avoid being caught out in the event of an emergency when travelling to holiday destinations and through unfamiliar and potentially remote areas over the Christmas period.
Gold Coast Local Ambulance Service Network (LASN) Assistant Commissioner John Hammond said an emergency can become a reality all too quickly.
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“Emergencies often occur when we least expect them, therefore it is paramount that travellers are aware of their general location at all times,” he said.
“If you are a tourist, knowing what road and suburb you are in and being able to identify landmarks can help paramedics locate you faster and may help save your life.
Mr Hammond said it was particularly important for travellers to prepare properly before a trip to reduce the risk of a traffic crash.
“Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and don’t drive if you are fatigued, are drug or alcohol affected, distracted or unwell,” he said.
“If you are travelling in an unfamiliar area, plot your course in advance, check road conditions and be prepared for a roadside breakdown.”
Mr Hammond noted that it could prove difficult to provide emergency services with an exact location when confronted with a seriously injured person in need of emergency care and recommended downloading the Emergency+ smartphone App.
“In a moment where every second counts, the Emergency+ App works by displaying coordinates derived from the smartphones GPS function to pin-point your exact location so emergency services can find you quickly,” he said.
Mr Hammond also stressed the importance of ensuring that travellers knew the name and number of their holiday destination for the benefit of responding paramedics.
“Holiday makers can often forget simple safety measures when caught up in the excitement of arriving at their destinations.
“Whether at a holiday home or visiting family and friends, having prior knowledge of the house or rural number wherever you may be located is vital in getting assistance swiftly when calling Triple Zero (000).
“This extends to beach access codes and track numbers and names if your holiday involves camping at the beach or other outdoor locations.”