MALAYSIANS by nature are a helpful lot and they are ever willing to help road accident victims out of their mangled vehicles but unfortunately, they do not have the skills or knowledge to conduct a proper rescue. Penang deputy chief police officer Senior Asst Comm Datuk Abd Rahim Jaafar said such good intentions have resulted in some of the injured passing away at the scene due to the improper way of extricating them. He cited a case in Baling a few years ago when several villagers rushed in to pull victims out of an express bus after it crashed. “They failed to realise that some victims could not be removed and needed to be stabilised first. Although, the villagers meant well, some of the victims they rescued later died,” he said.

SAC Abd Rahim said Malaysians must learn the basic rescue techniques. He said there were now several non-governmental organisations such as the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) offering intensive training for free. He added that the police were also working with the MRCS to improve the rescue skills of police personnel.

Earlier, SAC Abd Rahim, together with MRC Penang Branch Chairman Datuk B.J. Yeang, launched the Penang Red Crescent’s 24-hour ambulance service in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebrations. The service will end on Feb 6. About 220 MRCS members will be on standby statewide over the festive period. The public are advised to call 999 in case of any emergencies and the nearest ambulance would be assigned to respond.

In another development, SAC Abd Rahim said the police had formed special squads to monitor express bus drivers in conjunction with the seasonal Ops Sikap.

On standby: SAC Abd Rahim flagging off the volunteer Red Crescent ambulance services, watched by Yeang (on his right).

On standby: SAC Abd Rahim flagging off the volunteer Red Crescent ambulance services, watched by Yeang (on his right).