In 2014 the UKRO IDP was approached by Blythswood care to support their work through the provision of extrication training. Blythswood Care is a UK based charity which provides national and international aid. Part of that aid is to provide fire and rescue equipment to countries which would benefit from the provision of such equipment. Blythswood care have sent fourteen fully equipped Fire Appliances to Serbia, which was the first country to benefit from these types of donations.
Members of the UKRO IDP and Blythswood care travelled to Serbia and the city of Kragujevac in February 2015 on a scoping mission to identify training needs. Following the production of the initial UKRO IDP report, it was agreed by the UKRO Board that the UKRO would support a project in Serbia. Following this the UKRO IDP Project Manager was appointed. In November 2015 the PM visited Kragujevac to undertake initial meetings with Serbian officials in order to establish key priorities and to develop a project plan.
During the meetings it was agreed that Serbia would create a Working Group lead by the Deputy Mayor and made up from senior Fire and Medical staff along with representatives from the ministry of interior and the local municipality. The group would also have a project coordinator who would work closely with the PM.
It was agreed that Blythswood care and other supporters would donate rescue and medical equipment which would be shipped to Serbia prior to the first of four planned training courses and rescue challenges, taking place in August 2016.
A training and assessing team was identified from the UK, consisting of the following people, Cameron Black PM, Pat Sheridan Dep PM, Stuart Batham Medical Training and Trauma assessor, Steve North Extrication and technical/command assessor, Alan Paterson Extrication and technical/command assessor and Jayson Kay UKRO media officer to record and promote the event and to provide video training materials captured during the training and the challenge.
The entire project has attracted the interest from the Serbian Government and the British Embassy in Belgrade.
The UKRO Chair will be attending to support the project by observing the final day of training and to participate at the rescue challenge in August.
Each year the World Health Organisation estimates that 735 people are killed on Serbian roads with many more injured. Within the area of the initial training rescue capability is low to moderate due to limited availability of appropriate equipment and training.
Opportunities to develop the project and its partners continue, it is planned that the Working Group will attract new members including the Serbian national road safety organisation to work with UK professional is prevention.
The project through its work is not only helping to develop fire and medical personnel in Serbia to deal effectively with road collisions it is also contributing to the United Nations Decade of Action.
Ten Reasons to act on road deaths (WHO)
1. Nearly 1.3 million people are killed on the world's roads each year.
2. Up to 50 million people are injured, and many remain disabled for life.
3. 90% of casualties from road deaths occur in developing countries.
4. Annual road traffic deaths are forecast to rise to 1.9 million people by 2020.
5. Road traffic injuries are the number one cause of death for young people worldwide.
6. By 2015 road traffic injuries will be the leading health burden for children over the age of five years in developing countries.
7. The economic cost to developing countries is at least $100 billion a year.
8. Road traffic injuries place an immense burden on hospitals and health systems generally.
9. Road crashes are preventable.
10. A global Action Plan includes practical measures which, if implemented, could save millions of lives