A press release sent out on May 16 by TraumaLink, a response system for road accident victims, stated: “We are expanding 20km in Manikganj on the Dhaka-Aricha highway from the Glora Bus stand to the Mohadebpur Bus Stand and another 15 km from Daudkandi to Chandina on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.”
According to the release, the organisation is currently operational on about 19km of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Daudkandi and has over 100 trained volunteers who have already helped hundreds of injured people in crisis.
Winner of the prestigious Manthan Award 2015, TraumaLink runs an emergency hotline number, a 24/7 call centre and recruits volunteers from the local community who are trained in emergency trauma first aid and in handling necessary medical equipment like stretchers and bandages.
The organisation trains volunteers on what to do whenever an accident occurs so that victims can be transferred to the nearest medical facility.[arve url="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTraumaLink%2Fvideos%2F576381989158380%2F&show_text=0&width=560"/]
The way it works is, whenever an accident occurs on the highway, bystanders call the TraumaLink call centre and nearby volunteers are rapidly dispatched to the scene.
Since its inception in November 2014, TraumaLink volunteers have responded to 274 incidents and provided first aid services to 449 injured people.
According to the National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) 2,998 road accidents occurred in 2016, taking the lives of 3,412 people and injuring 8,572.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] A TraumaLink volunteer is seen taking care of a road crash victim. The picture was taken from the organisation's Facebook page[/caption]
In spite of the high injury rate and death tolls, before TraumaLink, there were no other hotlines for emergency aid during road accidents. On April 22 this year, a bus lost control and crashed in Amirabad, Comilla. Thirty passengers were injured and two died on the spot.
During this incident, bystanders called TraumaLink and four volunteers and one field officer immediately responded. They were able to provide first aid to nine people and sent three to the nearest hospital.
“We do not do this for money. Whenever we hear of any emergency situations, we rush to the spot immediately to provide help. It is our duty to do so,” says Avbdul Karim, a TraumaLink volunteer from the Daudkandi area.