Even the most sophisticated emergency care system is ineffective if bystanders fail to recognize a serious injury or do not know how to call for help. In LMICs when road traffic crashes occur, emergency response and services are fairly good in main cities, but only few systems are in place in the rural areas. In Colombia, a study done by local research groups stated that an average of two hours or more is the norm and in some areas it can be as high as eight to fourteen hours.
We sought to empower communities in rural areas of Colombia which have poor resources and have limited enforcement of road safety measures, such as control of speed, or protection for road users. Children usually walk to school or are brought by motorcycle. Our empowerment is done through education, training and provision of basic emergency equipment.
In cities, a number of private service providers and volunteer firefighter teams fill gaps in provision of emergency response. These volunteers are especially significant in small towns with poor resources
Community volunteer empowerment model need to be translated and scaled up in rural areas where emergency response is very limited. There is a national interest in developing organized emergency care systems in line with SDG commitments. Looking to the future, 7,000 km of new roads are planned before 2020 in Colombia, increasing the need for targeted road safety intervention.