Put safety first on the roads this Easter weekend

AS thousands of people hit the highways this Easter long weekend, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Commissioner Russell Bowles is reminding travellers that quick action at the scene of a crash or emergency can save lives.

“There are going to be a lot of people on the road taking advantage of the Easter break or travelling home as school holidays wrap up,” Mr Bowles said.

“On your travels, if you witness a serious traffic crash, call Triple Zero (000) immediately. Take note of your surroundings, look for landmarks and give the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) as much information as you can.”


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Commissioner Bowles said during a Triple Zero (000) emergency call, EMDs ask a series of questions and it was important that people answered each and every question carefully and calmly.

“Try to get some idea of the number of people injured and the nature of their injuries. Listen to the EMD’s instructions and assist as much as you can,” he said. “You may even be able to provide basic first aid support while the paramedics are on the way.

“Importantly, make sure that while you are helping you are not in danger.”

Accidents don’t just happen in well-signed areas, and Mr Bowles said holidaying Queenslanders and interstate or international visitors could easily be faced with an emergency situation in an unfamiliar area.

“People travelling through Queensland can easily be caught out by the kind of cyclonic weather and flooding we have witnessed recently due to Tropical Cyclone Ita,” he said.

“It’s quite possible that road signs and common landmarks could be damaged or washed away, which makes it even more difficult for visitors to relay the location of an emergency to EMDs.

“Added to the stress of a traffic crash, these situations can be quite overwhelming for people.

“There are however some handy tools available to help people if they are unfortunate enough to ever need to call for an ambulance.

“Recently, the national Triple Zero (000) Awareness Working Group launched the free Emergency + smartphone app, which allows people to pinpoint and relay their exact location to EMDs during an emergency call.

“The app, which is available for iOS and Android devices through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, uses your phone’s GPS function to identify your latitude and longitude coordinates.

“I strongly recommend everyone with a smartphone downloads the Emergency + App before they hit the highways this Easter.”