2nd phase of ‘Rakshak’ to train First Responders begins ; 30 Weeks-30 Districts-300 Master Trainers-30000 First Responders

Cuttack: The second phase of the First Responder’s Training Programme – ‘Rakshak’; a road safety initiative to save precious lives, began on Thursday. The programme was inaugurated by Shri Bishnupada Sethi, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Transport Department at Maa Dhakulai Pitha, Pratapnagari. Under the programme, 1000 first responders in each of the 30 districts of Odisha will be imparted training to act promptly in case of road accidents.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sethi said, “Around 5,500 people are killed in road accidents. Individual dies but it affects all the 5500 families. Road accident injuries cause considerable economic loss not only to these individuals, their families and to the nation.”

Emphasising on the importance of ‘Golden Hour’, Shri Sethi said, “Fatalities can be averted if victims are provided medical care within the first hour. It is very critical that first responders are properly trained to handle the road accident scenario. In foreign countries emergency team volunteers immediately reach when they get to know about any incident. I am hopeful that 30000 Rakshak army trained under this project will also act promptly to save precious lives.”

Addressing the gathering, Shri Arun Bothra, Transport Commissioner said, “First time there has been a decline in accidents and fatalities in the month of January and February. First two months of the year have always been months of higher accidents. The credit for this goes maximum to the first responders who always readily come forward to save lives of accident victims.”

During the programme, five Good Samaritans of Cuttack district were rewarded for helping road accident victims. Cheques were distributed to two Solatium Fund beneficiaries as well. First – Aid kits were distributed to few of the first responders.

In the second phase the Master Trainers will go to accident prone areas in all the 30 districts, train and empower the local people to render help to the victims of road accidents. These First Responders will be equipped to administer first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to accident victims within the golden hour. They will also educate and inform people about road safety measures and the Good Samaritan law as well.

Earlier in the welcome address, Shri Sanjay Biswal, Joint Commissioner Transport, Road Safety informed that, “In the first phase of Rakshak, 380 Master trainers & 3126 first responders were trained across Odisha.”

Master Trainers include volunteers from Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State Branch, Civil Defence Personnel and members of NGOs from across the state. The TOTs were conducted at 10 places across the state- Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Koraput, Phulbani, Sundergarh, Keonjhar and Bhawanipatna.

Project Rakshak is first of its kind state level programme in the country where in 30,000 volunteers staying or working at the eateries and different business establishments located near accident prone spots will be trained as First Responders to road accident victims. The programme was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik on Nov 10th, 2021.

Shri Sanjay Behera, RTO, Cuttack proposed the vote of thanks.

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