Post crash response arrangements in Australia compared to other high performing road safety nations
The effectiveness of emergency medical and rescue operations is critical in reducing deaths and injuries resulting from road crashes. However, the post-crash phase is rarely mentioned in road safety strategy documents and, when there is coverage, it is often limited in detail. The NSW Road Safety Strategy 2012 – 2021 includes a specific focus on post-crash response and road trauma treatment, particularly better coordination between emergency retrieval and medical services and the Motor Accidents Authority, as well investigating options for automatic crash notification systems.
The literature suggests a number of core features strongly associated with better performance in road crash trauma management. For emergency medical services these include shorter response times, higher levels of staff and standardisation of vehicles. However, to improve the performance of a trauma management system, data is required to establish the characteristics of the system and the current levels of performance of that system. Preliminary work has been undertaken comparing the various characteristics of the Australian Emergency Services with those in the five OECD nations who have performed well in terms of road trauma reduction over the last two decades. This paper will report on the research that has been conducted into how the effectiveness of post-crash emergency response could be measured, the performance indicators that are available, and those indicators that could be collected and recorded.