Emergency Location Discs ? Improving response times.
A key factor, in the outcome of injury severity and recovery for road trauma casualties, is the response time of emergency services in attending crash scenes.
Vast traveling distances, particularly in rural and remote areas, greatly lengthen response times. This is further complicated by inaccurate reporting and poor directions given for the location of a crash site.
WA, as Australia?s largest state, is characterized by vast traveling distances geographical isolation. In many of areas of the state, the minimum response time for emergency services (Police, Fire & Rescue, Ambulance or Royal Flying Doctor Service) is measured in hours ? up to several hours.
St John Ambulance Services in WA (Khangure, 1999) have identified significant differences when comparing road crash deaths in rural areas to those in the Perth metropolitan region. In rural WA 91% of road crash deaths occur out of hospital and 9% in hospital, compared to 61% out of hospital and 39% in hospital for crashes in the metropolitan area.
This paper details the trial of Emergency Location Discs ? roadside markers which enable improved identification and accuracy in reporting of the location of road crashes or other emergencies, facilitating faster response times by emergency service personnel in attending the scene and casualty treatment.
The Emergency Location Discs project was developed as an inter-agency collaborative effort. The markers have been designed to provide those reporting a crash with important details with which to identify the scene.
This initiative addresses the objective of ?early detection of crashes? as documented in the WA Road Safety Strategy for optimized trauma services. Undertaken as a twelve month trial (in progress) within a defined geographic area, the development, implementation process and promotional activities are reported in this paper.