Volunteers help drivers in trouble in HCM City

Update: March, 29/2021 - 09:00
Members of the voluntary supporting team help to fix a broken-down motorbike in Bình Tân District, HCM City. — Photo

HCM CITY — After finishing his daily job as a construction worker, at about 8pm most days Nguyễn Thanh Hiền gets on his motorbike and starts helping others.

Hiền is head of a voluntary support team that helps drivers that run into trouble in Bình Tân District, HCM City.

The 32-member team was established in 2018 and works every day from 8pm until midnight, Hiền said.

The idea to start the team came to Hiền after he went home from work late one day.

“My motorbike suddenly broke down when I was on the way home. Then, I had to walk and take the motorbike a long distance without help. It made me very tired,” he said.

He thought that even though he was a young person, he still felt very tired because he had to push the vehicle a long distance, he said, reported.

He thought the same situation would have been even worse for an elderly person or a woman, he said.

“The idea to establish the support team was born,” he said.

The team patrols the streets of the district and offers free tyre pumping, tyre patching and refuelling services for those in need, he said.

The team also provides first aid to people who have had accidents, helps drunk people get home and helps lost children make it home, he said.

“Everything we do is free,” he said.

Local people can contact the support team via its hotline 0903190418 to receive support, he said.

Lê Trường Hải, deputy head of the team, said in the early days, the team mainly supported people who had suffered mechanical problems or drunk people.

Recently, the team has helped find relatives for victims of traffic accidents, he said.

Hải also said after Decree No 100/2019/NĐ-CP, issued by the Government in 2019, came into effect on January 1, 2020, and greatly increased drink driving fines, the number of drunk drivers had sharply reduced.

Therefore, the main tasks of the team now were pumping tyres, repairing and refuelling people’s vehicles, he said.

Lê Hồng Thanh, 31, a member of the team, said he learned of the team via a social networking site and he decided to join because he thought the work was meaningful.

Võ Thị Kim Ngân, 25, the only female member of the team, said she had to persuade Hiền and other members to allow her to join.

At first, they thought the job was too risky for a woman, Hiền said.

“However, I said I wanted to help because I am a woman and it will be more convenient if I can give first aid to women who suffer traffic accidents,” she said.

After the team had made a lot of contributions to reducing traffic accidents in the district, the district administration decided to help the team.

The Việt Nam Youth Union of the district signed a decision to officially set up the team in 2019. Since then, the team has operated under the regulations of the union.

The members of the team were taught first aid knowledge as well as rescue skills through union training courses.

The members also voluntary donate their money to buy the equipment they need for the work. The team has also received donations.

Hiền said the team sometimes faced a situation of “half laughing, half crying”.  For example, many people mistakenly thought the team was attacking them instead of helping them, so they ran away.

Sometimes they are accused of deliberately approaching traffic accidents’ victims to steal or help the victims for personal gain, he said.

The team has also been harassed by professional mechanics who fear a loss of business, he added.

The team members have also been insulted or even assaulted by drunken people when the members wanted to take them home, he added.

However, every member of the team always knows to be extremely calm, both avoiding injury and making sure to bring them home safely, he said. — VNS