Grab in Red Cross/ Crescent pact to become first-responder network
By Digital News Asia May 18, 2016
- In partnership to Improve road safety and disaster response
- Grab drivers to be trained and certified in first aid by Red Cross
SINGAPORE-headquartered ride-hailing startup Grab said it has sealed a one-year partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to promote road safety, provide emergency assistance, and equip Grab fleet drivers with life-saving skills and road safety knowledge.
The regional partnership will upskill Grab drivers with first aid and road safety techniques and draw on its driver fleets and call centres as a first-responder network during disaster and emergency situations, Grab said in a statement.
The multinational collaboration is between Grab, the IFRC and its National Societies across the region, it added.
Grab said it and the IFRC will roll out the following plans in 2016, leveraging Grab’s fleet of over 270,000 drivers in the region:
- First aid and road safety training: Over 2,000 GrabCar and GrabBike drivers will be trained in first aid and road safety knowledge at no cost to drivers, certifying them with IFRC safety certifications upon completion of the training and enabling them to act as ambassadors for road safety.
- Emergency alerts and assistance: In disaster or congestion-prone countries where emergency alerts and assistance are crucial to saving lives during emergencies or disasters, the IFRC will provide Grab’s call centres and drivers with first-hand information, and facilities if available, to allow them to respond accordingly. Over 200 Grab’s call centre operators and staff will also be trained to handle emergency response calls, first aid and road safety knowledge.
- Road safety education: Grab will partner with IFRC to promote road safety awareness, undertaking the role as official transportation partner and distributing road safety education materials through Grab’s fleet network to provide clear and simple life-saving messages to passengers.
“Our global strategy is to build more resilient communities by saving lives and changing minds,” said IFRC regional director Xavier Castellanos.
“The partnership with Grab is a unique opportunity to join expertise and reach of our respective networks to expand a culture of safety on the road,” he added.
Road safety and emergency response in disaster situations remain compelling needs in South-East Asia, Grab said in its statement.
Globally, 1.25 million people are killed on roads every year. In the six countries where the IFRC-Grab partnership will be rolled out, there are 101,873 deaths each year, representing 8.15% of the total global death toll.
From 1970 to 2014, the region – predominantly Indonesia and the Philippines – was hardest hit among Asia Pacific sub-regions by natural disasters that killed more than 350,000 in more than 500 incidents, Grab said, citing the UN Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2014.
“With safety as the backbone of Grab and the region’s largest land fleet of over 270,000 drivers at our disposal, it was a natural consideration to partner with IFRC, the world’s largest international humanitarian organisation, to proactively drive road safety and emergency response to keep the roads safe for all,” said Grab chief executive officer Anthony Tan (pic).
“In a region where economic loss from natural disasters constitutes 51% of global economic loss, we’re proud that we can harness and train our fleet and call centre network to respond to emergency situations in service of South-East Asian communities,” he added.
As part of the regional partnership, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) signed an agreement with Grab Singapore to take plans forward at a country level.
Under the agreement, 600 Grab drivers will undergo Citizen First Responder and Road Safety 101 training; and 10 Grab customer experience officers will be trained and certified in Standard and Psychological First Aid within the year.
In addition, Grab, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, will partner with the SRC in rolling out community and youth projects, such as Community-Led Action for Resilience (CLARE), Project R.I.C.E+ and Safe Steps 2016.
Under the partnership, SRC volunteers will work alongside Grab drivers to deliver FoodAid to needy families, help the elderly access healthcare, and bring the road safety campaign to schools and heartlands.
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