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Driver First Assist to target commercial drivers using DfT funding

The Department for Transport has awarded Driver First Assist (DFA) a £70,000 grant to communicate the benefits of first responder training to professional drivers and fleet operators.

Richard Burnett from the RHA and David Higginbottom from DFA.
Richard Burnett from the RHA and David Higginbottom from DFA.

The not-for-profit road safety initiative trains drivers to use life-saving first aid and manage the scene at a road traffic collision, prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

The funding from the DfT will be used to target all commercial drivers, including van drivers, to show the benefits of training, with a long-term aim of targeting everyone who uses the road.

Chief executive and director of DFA, David Higginbottom said: “DFA has been successfully operating training courses for over two years and in that time we’ve heard of a number of instances where DFA members have been able to assist at the scene of a road traffic incident. The funding from the Department for Transport is vital to help us increase awareness and uptake of the courses. With significant numbers of trained DFA members on our roads we can guarantee, working in partnership with the emergency services, a reduction in preventable deaths, lessen the severity of injuries and enabling the faster re-opening of roads after major incidents, key benefits for all concerned.”

The announcement comes as the Road Haulage Association offers DFA training to its members under a new partnership. Effective immediately, DFA courses will be available at a discounted rate to RHA members. Courses will be delivered throughout the year at both customer premises and RHA offices in Peterborough, Bradford and Livingstone.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The DFA scheme ticks all our boxes. Proper emergency training really can make the difference between life and death for the victim and even non-drivers should be encouraged to take the training. In addition to the obvious life-saving benefits, the scheme will also go a long way to raising the profile of the industry with other road users.

“Regrettably, we can’t stop road accidents from happening – but a seven-hour course could well make the difference between life and death.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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