On 11th October 2012, EASST Director Emma MacLennan delivered a speech promoting the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety to delegates of the UK Fire and Rescue Service International Development and Humanitarian Aid Conference 2012. Also attending the conference were Julie Utting, EASST’s Communications Coordinator, who travelled to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia earlier this year with Operation Florian to view road crash response training, and Mike Pitney of Ashford Fire & Rescue Service who worked with EASST to donate needed equipment and training to Ukraine.

The fifth annual conference, held at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Training Centre, provided an opportunity for those within the UK Fire and Rescue Service and those representing other organisations to share their experiences, discuss common goals and future cooperation on international projects.

A joint interest among participants was the desire to help improve the emergency response to road collisions in other countries. The ability to save lives at the scene of the crash is very different across the globe. Emma MacLennan highlighted the need for this in EASST’s countries of operation where provision of rescue equipment is poor, training in rescue and extrication techniques is lacking, and high fatality rates occur at the scene of crashes.

The UN Decade of Action on Road Safety 2011-20, which seeks to save 5 million lives during its span, has identified improvement in Post Crash Care as vital to casualty reduction. Other areas include safer roads, safer vehicles, safer road users and effective road safety management. Emma encouraged participants to work together to contribute to this often overlooked area.