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NEWS AND NOTES

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REQUEST FOR TRAINING OF EMERGENCY STAFF

The October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan claimed around 80 000 lives and left almost 500 000 people homeless. The disaster exposed the limited capacity to deal with lesser emergencies like road traffic accidents, buildings collapse, explosions, and fires, let alone disasters. The March issue of Safe Community Weekly News reported that the Pakistan Government has established a model emergency service infrastructure in Lahore. The project has successfully undergone third party evaluation before expansion of these emergency services to other cities. The evaluation revealed the project/service was “a well conceived and excellently implement project in terms of training, quality care, response time, and professionalism.” An Emergency Services Academy has been established in Lahore for the expansion of the emergency service to other cities and to ensure a continuous well trained human resource development in this long neglected area. Trainers have been recruited for the Academy. As this kind of emergency staff training on modern lines will be taking place for the first time in Pakistan, the Academy is looking for volunteer trainers who can train the trainers and also help in designing the courses in hazard and vulnerability assessment, and community training for safe community. The interested trainers will be provided air fare and board and lodging in the historic city of Lahore. Interested trainers are invited to contact Dr Rizwan Naseer, Director General, Emergency Services, Lahore (email: punjabrescue@yahoo.com). Further information about the rescue service can be found at http://www.rescue.gov.pk.

DRIVER DISTRACTIONS AND CRASH RISKS

A recent NHTSA publication1 reported that there are direct relations between driving behavior and crash and near-crash involvement. The results of the study undertaken by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicated that driving while drowsy results in a four- to sixfold higher near-crash/crash risk relative to driving while alert. Drivers engaging in visually or manually complex tasks have a threefold …

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