Leading Charities Join Forces To Train Emergency Drivers

Thursday, 04 June, 2009

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and St John Ambulance are joining forces to promote and support a programme to improve driving including advanced training for emergency response drivers.

The partnership represents a new direction for both organisations, with RoSPA becoming involved in emergency response training for the first time and St John Ambulance gaining RoSPA accreditation for its own driver-training school for its 25,000 adult volunteer and staff drivers.

RoSPA will validate the training material and accredit St John Ambulance's in-house programme. The training will also be made available to other organisations.

The programme will focus on improving drivers' awareness of road risks and will deliver high-quality practical training to reduce the risks.

It will include training at a range of levels, up to advanced training for drivers who are required to drive under emergency conditions to respond to life-threatening situations.

With significant overlaps between safer-driving techniques and lower fuel usage, the training will also reduce St John Ambulance's carbon footprint.

RoSPA has been involved in road safety since its inception 92 years ago. It has campaigned on the issue of managing occupational road risk (MORR) since 1996, and has developed a range of driver-training and risk-management solutions for businesses and organisations in the UK and overseas.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA deputy chief executive, said: "This partnership brings together two of the world's leading charities in our shared goal of saving lives and reducing injuries.

"RoSPA encourages life-long driver development and we hope that St John Ambulance employees and volunteers will benefit from this training when they are out of uniform as well as when they are helping those in need of medical assistance."

Tony Guinness, who has produced much of the St John Ambulance in-house material and has led the discussions for St John Ambulance said: "I am delighted to have RoSPA as a partner so that our volunteer members and employees can receive accreditation from the country's leading driver-training provider.

"We have developed a unique package of classroom and on-road training for our staff and volunteers which we believe is the best of its kind. It provides a rigorous framework for us to manage our road risk as an organisation, while also investing in the skills of our individual drivers."

Courses and qualifications have been designed around "foundation" and "advanced" levels, reflecting the experience drivers bring with them and the tasks they need to perform safely for St John Ambulance. As a bonus, St John Ambulance drivers will be able to join RoSPA's Advanced Drivers and Riders, pass the RoSPA Advanced Driving Test and benefit from preferential insurance rates on their private cars.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by both charities to formalise the partnership.

St John Ambulance is the nation's leading first aid charity. It believes that everyone who needs it should receive first aid from those around them and that no one should suffer for the lack of trained first aiders. It has more than 40,000 volunteers who are committed to training, caring and saving lives. It's also one of the country's leading youth organisations - with more than half of its members aged under 25.

For more information about emergency response driver training, and other driving training options, contact RoSPA's Driver and Fleet Solutions team on 0121 248 2105 or fleetsolutions@rospa.com
For information about St John Ambulance, call 08700 10 49 50 or visit


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