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  Comment Banner April 2010

Road Trauma Support Team of SA


Our attention was once again drawn to the tragedy of our road death toll over the Easter break following a further three road crash related fatalities.

Whilst every attempt is being made to reduce the death toll through awareness and education campaigns, including the MFS Road Accident & Awareness Prevention (RAAP) Program delivered in schools, there are still many people within the community who are left to cope with the psychological trauma of vehicle collisions.

As fire and emergency service staff and volunteers, we too are often exposed to traumatic situations such as vehicle collisions. As a sector each emergency service organisation has a duty of care to provide staff and volunteers with an avenue to debrief following an incident, both operationally and psychologically. It is important to seek support following a distressing experience and all members of the sector are encouraged to access the Stress Management and Peer Support Program available.

Road Trauma Support Team of SA Posters

Emergency service personnel are not trained to assist members of the public who often witness these distressing situations. For members of the public the impact of road crash incidents can vary from person to person - it may be a result of having been involved with an incident or simply witnessing a collision. Regardless, there is a support service available thanks to a State Government funded program. The Road Trauma Support Team of South Australia (RTST) provides counselling to those affected by vehicle collisions and is an initiative supported by the CFS, SA Police and SA Ambulance Service.

The service is designed to help the community of South Australia deal with the effects and impacts on the secondary victims of road trauma, i.e. citizens first on scene, family members or others who may be affected by a particular incident.

The RTST is an avenue emergency service personnel can refer members of the public to for specialist care either during or after a road trauma related incident.

In regional areas the CFS is assisting with the promotion of the RTST service by way of distributing brochures and business cards about the service through to all brigades, groups and regional offices. This information can be handed out discreetly at the conclusion of incidents (only if appropriate) or at a later time back at the brigade stations, group bases or regional offices.

Further information about the service can be found at the Road Trauma Support Team of South Australia website and for copies of materials to hand out to the public please contact CFS State Training Officer, Corey Frazer on 8398 9986.

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