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A study on taxi drivers as the first responders to emergency situations in South Korea
  1. C Lee*,
  2. J Cho
  1. Correspondence Emergency Department, Ajou University Hospital, Wonchun-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-shi, Korea 443–721, South Korea

Abstract

The first responder to an emergency situation is the first person in the accident scene, who, along with the people in charge of emergency management, clinical care, public works and health and other skilled support personnel is responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence and the environment. Even though taxi drivers often witness emergency situations, however, and early resuscitation can result in high long-term survival rates, they tend to avoid such situations or not respond to them. In this study, the frequency of taxi drivers exposure and response to emergency situations was determined, and the factors that stand in the way of their extending assistance to the emergency victims they encounter were identified. A questionnaire survey was conducted among the 501 taxi drivers enrolled in this study, 82.5% of whom have encountered emergency situations at least once a year but only 48.2% of whom have extended assistance to the emergency victims they have encountered. The most important reason cited by 71.4% of the respondents for not extending assistance to the victims in such situations was lack of knowledge regarding how to extend emergency assistance and the avoidance of getting entangled in legal matters. The related education contents that the respondents indicated they want to learn to be able to extend assistance in emergency situations were cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to manage unconscious people, people experiencing seizure and the victims of traffic accidents. It is expected that based on the results of this study, an education program that will enable taxi drivers to participate actively in rescuing emergency victims will be formulated and implemented so that better emergency medical service can be achieved, and that reasonable rewards for drivers who help emergency victims will be drawn.

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