Our Inspiration: Talal Kassem
In 2010, a devastating accident forever rocked our lives: the loss of our eldest son, 17-year-old Talal, who was hit by a reckless driver. I now stand at a crossroad, looking back at these past years and at the marks left with the passage of time. I am proud of the choice we made to turn our anger and sadness to positive achievement. The association Talal inspired is now giving victims of accidents a genuine chance to be rescued... a chance he was denied!
I am proud of the strength, determination and purpose, which Talal has given me, in order to keep walking down the rescue road in Lebanon in partnership with pioneering medical institutions and generous sponsors who believed in our cause, banks, companies, and individuals. I am also thrilled by the interest demonstrated by the international community, UN-related organizations and diplomatic missions in our work. Roads for Life has now joined notable international alliances, such as the G4 Alliance and the Global Alliance of NGO’s for Road Safety. It also confirmed its position as an active contributor to the fifth pillar of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which encompasses post-trauma medical care and the rescue for trauma victims.
We are also proud of our achievements in Lebanon and particularly the initiative launched by His Excellency the Minister of Health who issued a circular stressing the need for all governmental and private hospitals to enroll their medical and nursing staff in the certification courses provided by Roads for Life to enhance their skills and professionalize trauma care. We are currently covering the costs of these courses and hope one day they would become essential prerequisites to Emergency Room accreditation in Lebanese hospitals.
Our rescue, nursing and medical training sessions cover all institutions throughout Lebanon. Lately, we found out that we can be of service to our armed and security forces. We thus cooperated without any hesitation with the European Union within the framework of a pilot project in order to provide traffic police with first-aid training. This training was given by the Lebanese Red Cross. Moreover, we are in the process of launching a new advanced first-aid program for the Police Academy.
We have also gone a long way with our beloved army, in providing it with certification for the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course, which – God willing – will help save both our military heroes and vulnerable civilians in many areas. We still harbor major ambitions, starting with the establishment of a trauma data center, as is the case in all developed countries, especially that the number of victims is downright terrifying and comparable to a civil war.