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UPDF Trains Drivers For Emergency Operations :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UPDF Trains Drivers For Emergency Operations

The six months' training also had aspects of military skills for drivers to handle some weapons and how to respond to emergencies.

Audio 4

Ambulance drivers in Uganda People’s Defense Force have completed a training course in emergency response. Sixty-six ambulance drivers participated in the hands-on training held at the Jinja City-based School Of Supply and Transport.

The training involved skills like rapid acceleration, hairpin turns, squealing tires, and hard braking maneuvers to prepare the soldiers on how to operate vehicles during emergencies.   The six months' training also had aspects of military skills for drivers to handle some weapons.  

Speaking at the end of the training, the commandant of the junior staff College, Brig. Chris Ogwal said it is vital that whoever has been recruited in the UPDF acquire military even when they are not going to be directly engaged in combat.   

Ogwal explained that there has been a tendency by those recruited to professional services in areas like medicine, engineering, and teaching among others to ignore being trained in combat situations yet those skills can be handy during emergency operations. 

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 Ogwal argues that soldiers are trained to keep abreast with artillery skills, which are fundamental in enabling them to quickly retaliate and use their guns to battle off enemy forces at all times.  

Citing last year's attack on one of UPDF bases in Somalia where dozens of fatalities were registered, Ogwal argues that, instead of over-reliance on company security for their safety, a soldier ought to prioritize the ability to use the available weaponry in his/her power to fight off enemy forces, rather than taking solace in their professional outfits and comfortably relying on the services of others to guard them.

  Ogwal further challenged soldiers on the value of discipline and self-respect, coupled with treating all categories of people with maximum courtesy as it not only endears the force to the public but also highlights the level of professional growth of the army.  

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The drivers were also trained on how to provide first-aid to casualties, before evacuating them to designated health facilities for specialized healthcare.  

They further acquired paramedic skills, which have given them primal knowledge in supporting healthcare givers to stabilize patients, en route to hospitals where they can access professional healthcare unharmed.     "It has been noted that while drivers are not necessarily health workers, they are pivotal in supporting ambulance crew.

Meanwhile, School Of Supply and Transport, Col. Amos Rutaremwa says that the country has registered terrorist attacks in the recent past with severely injured casualties and the UPDF drivers are being equipped to easily respond to such emergencies, where need arises.  

Rutaremwa argues that their curriculum was enriched with tips on emergency care to critically injured victims and professional health workers spearheaded practical skills in real-life experiences, which he believes to have enriched trainees with knowledge to handle such tasks within their areas of deployment.  

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Rutaremwa said the drivers were equipped with skills and capacity, to support the already existing government structures in responding to serious accidents along the country's major highways.  

  He adds that the drivers can also support civilian authorities during disaster management processes, involving massive casualty evacuations or even handle similar tasks in the course of executing peace support operations across the East African community region and beyond.

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