accessibility & help

Cabbies learn first aid to help passengers

13 April 2011

Taxi cabIt can get pretty eventful in late-night taxi queues – and that’s why one group of London cabbies has decided to get some first aid training with the Red Cross.

Volunteers in London ran a special course for a group of taxi drivers and marshals. (Taxi marshals – each of them licensed taxi drivers – are uniformed men and women who provide a reassuring night-time presence to passengers and cab drivers at busy taxi ranks.)

Unsurprisingly, surrounded for hours at a time by weekend drinkers and clubbers, the drivers and marshals see a lot of injuries. They were inspired to learn first aid after seeing a Red Cross spokesperson speaking on the local news about a new training partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service. 

‘First on the scene’

Tony Ellis, a taxi operations manager from Orpington, said: “I brought my guys here today because I think gaining first aid knowledge would really help in their work. They work very late at night and come across a lot of incidents. Almost all the time, we are the first ones on the scene.

“The drivers regularly see people get violently ill or collapse because they are drunk or have taken other substances. Most of us already step in and help, but if our drivers know what to do they are more likely to be able to help in an appropriate way.”

Useful skills

Steve, a taxi marshal from Beckenham, said: “The training was very useful and has given me the confidence to go in and try and help as much as I can. Beckenham can get very messy late at night; there are usually lots of fights, and when people spill out the pubs and clubs it’s madness.

“Now, if someone is lying on the floor we can deal with them and try and sort out the problem. We always try to help anyway we can but, obviously, the more skills we have the better we’ll be.”

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