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    Thursday, 10 August 2017

    Golden Hour Foreword

    In spite of all our efforts to prevent road traffic crashes, collisions still occur. These can be fatal or injury collisions. In whichever case, immediate post-crash response is a vital component of an effective road safety policy. The lag time between injury and treatment should ideally be kept to a bare minimum. This bare minimum is specified as no more than 60 minutes. Globally, it is generally referred to as the Golden Hour. The view is that if you are critically injured, you have less than 60 minutes to survive. If effective emergency medical help is not rendered in this 'Golden Hour', one's chances of survival increasingly fade. Thus, according to the Collins English Dictionary, 'golden hour' is 'the first hour [the hour of advantage] after a serious accident, when it is crucial that the victim receives medical treatment in order to have a chance of surviving.
    In American news, (www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/aaron-tucker-man-saves-life), an intriguing story is told of 32-year old Aaron Tucker, who on 17 July 2017, dropped off a bus to help a guy who had hit a tree, flipped his car, and was trapped inside. Aaron was a week old from jail and had been invited to an interview which saw him boarding this bus. He had requested the bus driver to stop and help but the driver would have none of it and insisted that he had a schedule to keep. Aaron rushed to the crash scene and pulled out the victim as the damaged vehicle which was was now covered by smoke caught fire soon after the victim had been pulled out. "Your family wants to see you. Keep your eyes open', Mr Tucker reportedly kept on saying until an ambulance came. Touched by this story, the injured driver's community raised US$50,000 in just a few days through a crowd funding page as reward for his heroic act. He subsequently received many job offers.
    Back home here in Zimbabwe, a Mvurwi herdsman assisted 13 out of the 14 passengers who survived when a Nissan Caravan collided head-on with a Honda CRV, resulting in 11 people being burnt beyond recognition on Monday, 24 July 2017. The 31 year old herdsman, Forgetmore Tagu, as the first person to arrive at the crash scene, was compelled by benevolence to assist. Unlike in the Tucker example above, Tagu is yet to receive any kind of thank you, if ever it will come.
    These two cases above underscore the need for all of us to render prompt relevant help in the event that road traffic crashes happen and we happen to be close to the crash scene. In order to help you need to know the following emergency numbers: 112, Econet subscribers toll free number; 114, NetOne subscribers toll free number; Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe whatsapp number- 0716000507; ambulance-994; and police-995. The careless and reckless behaviour of ignoring to attend to crash victims, being a spectator at a crash scene and taking photos and videos and circulating them irresponsibly is quite deplorable! Let us all be our brother's keeper by saving lives.
    (The writer, Tatenda Chinoda, a Traffic Safety Council Information and Communication Manager, is an apt road safety educator and seasoned defensive driving instructor. He can be contacted on chinodat@trafficsafety.co.zw / tatenda.chinoda@yahoo.com; cell / whatsapp 0772 966 075 or phone 04 – 751203).      
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