London cabbies get emergency lifesaving training

London black cab drivers receive first aid, acid attack and emergency childbirth simulation training, as e-haling app mytaxi rolls out its innovative ‘Knowledge+’ programme.
Photo: PinPep/Taylor Herring

London black cab drivers receive first aid, acid attack and emergency childbirth advisory training, as e-haling app mytaxi, roll out its innovative ‘Knowledge+’ programme designed to equip 17,500 drivers with a set of essential new skills.

The pioneering initiative, The Knowledge+, has been developed to provide tools for mytaxi’s fleet of drivers, giving them the opportunity to upskill themselves with essential life-saving techniques for coping with new challenges in the Capital.

The programme, developed in partnership with St John Ambulance, will give drivers access to high quality training equipment such as a MamaBirthie childbirth simulators, defibrillators, CPR Annie mannequins and first aid equipment.

This scheme, which is the first of its kind ever developed, will teach drivers life-saving techniques such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator, which will make licensed cabbies even more ‘street-smart.’ It will build on ‘The Knowledge’, the world’s toughest taxi test, which ensures drivers find the fastest route through London without a sat nav.

Research from 1300 drivers from the black cab app firm mytaxi, reveals that drivers are increasingly finding themselves as first responders in the capital. More than two-thirds (71%) have made emergency trips to hospital for passengers with serious medical issues including burst appendixes and broken ankles. Others (7%) have specifically experienced a passenger having a stroke or heart attack.

Helping women in labour is a happier hazard of the job. A total of 14 said they had experienced a woman giving birth in their cab, and 140 knew drivers to whom this had happened.

Results also reveal that half of the respondents have been booked by passengers as an alternative to an ambulance.

Peter Thompson, black cabbie driver for mytaxi, said, “The Knowledge+ is a great initiative, and I should know because I’ve found myself in some of these emergency scenarios, where the knowledge and expertise to administer first aid, would have been invaluable. During my time as a cabbie driver, I’ve witnessed two women go into labour in the back of my cab! Without the knowledge, which I’ve learnt today, I wouldn’t feel as confident in my ability to fully take care of my passengers, which is an incredibly important to me.”

Andy Batty, UK General Manager at mytaxi black cab app, said, “We’re delighted to roll out the first wave of our Knowledge+, a bespoke pioneering programme, which builds on the world’s most respected taxi training course by equipping thousands of London black cab drivers with a series of essential new skills to support the City and its people”

Michelle Kerrigan, National Partnerships Manager for St John Ambulance, said, “As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance is delighted to deliver the first wave of the Knowledge+, bespoke familiarisation sessions that will be available to mytaxi’s network of drivers. Due to the nature of the job, we know that taxi drivers are increasingly first on the scene, and so the ability to be able to give first aid in those crucial first minutes will undoubtedly save people’s lives in the Capital. We’re proud to be a part of this innovative initiative and the positive impact this will have on the communities that cabbies’ serve.”

mytaxi is committed to ensuring black cab passengers get to their destination simply, safely, quickly and pleasurably. With the addition of Knowledge+, the mytaxi experience could also prove lifesaving.