May 31, 2022 | Medellín, Colombia | Daniela Arrieta, Colombia Adventist University, and Inter-American Division News

Colombia Adventist University (UNAC) recently launched the first of many responders training programs that will seek to equip 9,000 citizens across dozens of cities and municipal districts to provide first-aid to traffic accident victims in Colombia. The programs which is backed by the national government, will see the first responder program taught by the Adventist university for a 10-year period, university leaders said.

Minister of Transportation Ángela María Orozco, visited the university campus last month to highlight the importance of the national campaign to prevent deaths of accident victims and increase their chances of survival. She took part in the eight-hour training session on campus with 65 other individuals enlisted in the program, representing different sectors, on Apr. 26, 2022.

Colombia’s Minister of Transportation Ángela María Orozco takes part in a first responder training session during her visit to the Colombia Adventist University in Medellin, Colombia, Apr. 26, 2022. The minister congratulated university officials for being chosen to train more than 9,000 citizens across the nation throughout 20 cities and municipal districts as well as online trainings during the next 10-year period. [Photo: Daniela Arrieta]

According to Colombia’s National Safety Observatory, there were 7,270 deaths due to traffic accidents in 2021. That number represents the largest number during the past three years, surpassing 2020 with 5,458 deaths and in 2019 with 6,633.

“UNAC has been accompanying us in developing this training at a national level so they can equip first responders when an accident happens,” said Orozco. “Congratulations for this campus and for this collaboration in this process of training throughout the country.”

Thanks to the more than 20 years of experience in training students in prehospital care, the institution won the bid against other universities nationwide, university officials said.

Individuals are trained in first response during group trainings on the campus of the Colombia Adventist University, Apr. 26, 2022. [Photo: Daniela Arrieta]

“UNAC won this process to train more than 9,000 Colombians so that we can continue saving lives on the road, thanks also to the fact that they are accredited in pre-hospital care assistance, which is fundamental,” said Luis Lota, director of the National Road Safety Agency. “Without a doubt, with more knowledge, we can save more lives on the roads in Colombia, which is very important work for our national agency.”

Training will continue at in-person and virtual sessions with a team of experts on how to tend to patients with multiple traumas, immobilization techniques, patient movement techniques, adult and pediatric basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation, use of automated external defibrillator, management of airway obstruction, convulsions, and disturbance of the consciousness. In addition, training sessions will include how to care for soft tissue injuries, wounds and bruises, initial management of fractures, burns, and eye injuries, among others.

Officials from transport companies, northeast highway concessionaires, other universities, leaders of mobility secretary of nearby municipalities, and other organizations from different sectors, participated in the initial training event.

L-R: Washington Ortega, director of sustainability and education at UNAC, Jorge Zabala. president of the Union Temporal business company, Ángela María Orozco, minister of transportation, Juan Choque, president of UNAC and Mónica Castaño Mejía, academic vice president of UNAC. [Photo: Colombia Adventist University]

For Dr. Juan Choque, president of UNAC, the visit of the minister of transportation, as well as the opportunity for the institution to take part in a national program, will elevate the profile of the Adventist institution in the country. “This opportunity will also strengthen the pre-hospital care program as well as bring about opportunities to take part in additional projects to assist the community and offer a more wholistic service,” Choque said.

To learn more about Colombia Adventist University its programs and initiatives, visit unac.edu.co

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