The taxi driver who saves lives

Update: June, 23/2017 - 09:00
Hoàng Văn Dự (left) and a Red Cross worker in front of the first-aid station based at Dự’s house in Diễn Yên Commune of the central province of Nghệ An. Names and telephone numbers of first-aid team are listed on the sign. — Photo
Viet Nam News

NGHỆ AN — A taxi driver from the central province of Nghệ An has turned his house into a first-aid station so that he can offer timely help to traffic accident victims.

Hoàng Văn Dự, 58, a resident of Diễn Yên Commune in Diễn Châu District made the decision last year as soon as the local Red Cross asked to borrow his two-storey house, conveniently located on National Highway 1A.

Having worked as a taxi driver, Dự understands that first-aid can save lives. He said he had witnessed many traffic accidents in which victims died because they were not provided with proper first aid nor taken to hospital in time. 

“I totally agreed with the idea about a first-aid station at my house,” he said, “but other members of my family did not. My children said to me that it would be very complicated to bring traffic accident victims to our house, and would upset our daily life,” Dự said.

He added that some acquaintances thought he was crazy to agree. “Why don’t you open a store? What will you do if the victims die in your house, Dự?” they asked him. Some people believe that it’s bad luck to let strangers die in one’s home.

It took time to convince the family, and not only did they finally agree, they encouraged Dự to join the Red Cross.

Over a year later, the first-aid station at Dự’s house was equipped with first-aid kits, medicine and stretchers. Dự spent his own money repainting the house and buying beds, chairs, tables and wardrobes.

Dự’s team has 20 volunteers from three communes. They take turns, two people a day, manning the first-aid station all the time. Other members of the team are always ready to assist in case of an accident.   

Lê Đức Sơn, head of Diễn Châu District’s first-aid team said the team members were taxi drivers, motorbike taxi drivers and street vendors.

When an accident is reported, they quickly reach the scene, some deliver first aid, some call an ambulance, some report to police while others protect the scene and victims’ asset.

“Since Dự let us use his house, it is more convenient to do our work,” Sơn told the Thanh Niên newspaper.

Phan Thị Nguyên, vice head of the district’s Red Cross, said the first-aid station at Dự’s house was officially certified by the province’s Department of Health in May. All the volunteers there were invited to join first-aid training courses, she said.

A team member, Vũ Xuân Đào, 57, said that since joining the first-aid team, he and other members view Dự’s house as their second home where they gather and help people together.

They agree with the ancient Chinese-Vietnamese saying that saving one life is better than building a seven-storey pagoda, Đào said. — VNS