Post crash response: Low hanging fruit or just an after thought
The United Nations General Assembly adopted unanimously a resolution to declare the year 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The resolution calls on countries to set targets for road trauma reduction and implement road safety activities, including improving post crash response. Over the past thirty years, road safety agencies across Australia have made substantial gains in reducing road trauma by developing and implementing strategies and actions that have been focused on crash prevention and vehicle performance during the crash event. These strategies have paid off in terms of the numbers of lives saved and injuries prevented. However, as the rate of progress in reducing road trauma slows across the nation, there is interest in knowing if improved emergency response and pre-hospital emergency care could have a positive impact on road fatality and serious injury rates across Australia. This paper will initially outline the emergency medical and rescue response arrangements to road crashes in New South Wales and compare them with arrangements in other Australian States and Territories. It is also expected that some initial data will be provided on how Australian post crash response arrangements compare to those in five of the top road safety performing nations within the OECD.