Dr Chukwuemeka Nwakanma, Medical Director, Abia Emergency Medical Services (EMS), said the Abia Government had embarked on extensive training of its residents on skills in basic life support (BLS), first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Nwakanma told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Umuahia that 30 healthcare providers from each of the 17 local government areas were trained in the first phase of the programme.
He said apart from the medical personnel, the training was extended to individuals in various communities, schools and other institutions.
“The intention was to make as many Abia citizens as possible skilled in First aid, BLS and CPR.
“The training will enable them identify someone in emergency situation and intervene when people have crises such as stroke, heart attack, chocking, among others,” he said.
Nwakanma commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for launching Abia EMS in 2017, saying he had brought emergency services such as ambulances and paramedical services closer to the people.
He said the service was being offered free to all indigenes and visitors alike in the state.
“It is his belief and ours too that this programme will reduce deaths because of disasters, accidents and other emergencies occurring not only on our roads but also in our homes, schools, churches, and others,” he said.
The medical director said the agency had, since inception, achieved an average response time of 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the location and terrain.
He appealed to the people to give the ambulances right-of-way to reduce time of rescue.
Nwakanma also lamented that the personnel were sometimes forced to carry accident victims at one time, thereby making it difficult to treat the seriously injured while on transit.