31 December 2017

How many road deaths will we see this year?

Limpopo is taking action to reduce road accident deaths.

The Department of Health in Limpopo says it is ready for the expected high volumes of accidents that are anticipated during the festive season, and ambulances and rescue teams are ready to be dispatched to busy roads across the province.

Increase in fatalities

In December 2016, 1 714 lives were lost in road accidents across the country, an increase of 5% from the previous December.

Limpopo was one of the provinces that recorded high road fatalities together with the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Gauteng alone recorded 61% of the death toll.

Limpopo Department of Health spokesperson Thabiso Teffo said the Limpopo Health Emergency and Rescue services would work closely with the Department of Roads and Transport to render services on all major routes in the province over the coming festive season.

Stand-by rescue units

"A total of 33 ambulances and 10 rescue units will be placed strategically next to major routes, to support Roads and Transport. These ambulances will be staffed by highly skilled advance life support paramedics, intermediate life support staff and personnel trained specifically in rescue operations, where they might be a need to assist trapped patients. This stand-by situation will run until 12 January 2018," said Teffo.

He said ambulances placed at standby points would receive backup from the EMS stations, with a further 192 ambulances ready to be deployed to any major incident.

The department also has a fully equipped disaster bus that can be deployed to a major incident and a daylight aero-medical (chopper) service will be available to transport critically injured patients to an appropriate health facility. – Health-e News

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