The first link in the chain of help

The chain of help begins, according to the World Health Organization, with those who are present or who arrive first at the scene of a crash. Lay bystanders can play an important role in various ways, including:

  • Contacting the emergency services, or calling for other forms of help
  • Helping to put out any fire
  • Taking action to secure the scene (e.g. preventing further crashes, preventing harm to rescuers and bystanders, controlling the crowd gathered at the scene)
  • First aid e.g. unblocking airway obstruction. One of the most common causes of death for road crash victims is anoxia a lack of oxygen supply caused by blocked airways which take, on average less than 4 minutes, to prove fatal according to the British Red Cross.
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