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18 July 2007 12:00 GMT / Scania in the United Kingdom
Carl puts his Young European Truck Driver life-saving skills into practice
Twenty-seven-year-old Stamford, Lincolnshire man Carl Buddle, a contestant in this year's Young European Truck Driver competition, had to put the life-saving skills he had learnt in preparation for the contest into practice just hours after qualifying for the event's UK Final.
The dramatic scene unfolded as Carl's father Neil was taken seriously ill in the car on the way home after the qualifying competition, which was held at the Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire earlier this month.
"My dad had come to support me at the qualifier and we were both pretty excited that I got through to the UK Final," says Carl. "But on the way home, dad suddenly suffered a heart attack. It all happened very quickly, but I was able to use my skills to pull him through and keep him comfortable until the medics took over. I'm delighted to say that a week later he's on the mend and due to be released from hospital imminently."
Carl, who drives for Market Deeping transport firm M. L. Wordsall, had studied First Aid in preparation for the Young European Truck Driver event. "Road safety is a key element in the competition and I therefore knew we would be tested on our knowledge of First Aid," explains Carl. "So I swotted up before the event, never dreaming that I would actually have to put it into practice just an hour or so after the event! It just goes to show how important First Aid is. Any commercial vehicle driver could easily be the first on the scene of an incident – so my recommendation is to get yourself familiar with the actions to take in case of an emergency."
"The overall aim of the Young European Truck Driver event is to actively contribute towards making our roads safer through encouraging higher standards of driving and professional road transport skills," comments Dan Hoij, Managing Director of Scania (Great Britain) Limited. "As Carl's experience has demonstrated, First Aid is a vitally important component in the mix. I therefore fully support his view that all drivers should have an understanding of the principles of First Aid."
Scania and Young European Truck Driver 2007
In raising awareness of the importance of road safety, Scania believes it is essential to focus in particular on young drivers – the group most liable to be involved in incidents, but also those most likely to benefit from training in the long-term. The Young European Truck Driver 2007 competition was open to all young heavy truck drivers under 35.
The European Commission has set an ambitious road safety target to be reached by 2010: Reducing by half the road fatalities in Europe from the current unacceptably high figure of 40,000 killed per year. To help achieve this, the Commission adopted in 2003 a Directive on Drivers’ Training which is currently being implemented in all Member States to introduce mandatory safety-focused training for all professional drivers. Young European Truck Driver 2007 has been developed in line with this new Directive.