When I enter a Black Taxi I always ask the driver;

 ‘What would you do if I had a Heart Attack in your cab?’

Some of the answers are hysterical from offering me a discount to kicking me out the cab! I know they are joking, but most of the drivers I asked that to, said that they had no clue what do and most stated that they would dial 999 to get an ambulance.

Personally, I find it worrying that anyone driving an automobile professionally, does not know basic First Aid.

Lets explore what kind of emergency situations could occur in a taxi;


Accidents – any road accident will bring a whole list of disasters to those involved. This can be from head injury, broken bones, cuts, amputations, avulsions (partial amputation), eye and ear injuries and most of all to loss of life.


Passenger emergencies – this can be a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, asthma attack, stroke, fainting as well as many other conditions that could lead to unconsciousness. I have not even mentioned the intoxicated passenger who can get into all sorts of drama under the influence of alcohol or even drugs!


Driver emergencies – of course, like the passenger, the taxi driver can be vulnerable to medical emergencies too. They lead a sedentary life, sitting most of the day, so medical emergencies such as sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke can affect the cab driver at any moment.

In June 2015 the news reported;

Taxi driver fighting for his life after having ‘heart attack at wheel’ and smashing into oncoming cab in east London

A taxi driver is fighting for his life after apparently having a heart attack at the wheel and ploughing headlong into another cab in the middle of a busy east London high street.

It is pretty scary to think that this could happen to any of us. Worst of all, not knowing what to do, if faced with an emergency!

I always tell the taxi driver to do his DRABC (DANGER, RESPONSE, AIRWAY, BREATHING & CIRCULATION).

I do always tell the driver of my taxi, that if I did look like I was unconscious or not breathing, he must stop the cab and ensure that the area is safe from Danger to him/herself and his/her passenger(s) and anyone in the area. Next, he/she must get into or lean into the cab and shout to the passenger for a Response. If the passenger does not respond, then the driver must tilt the passenger’s head back to access an Airway, then listen to their mouth (for 10 seconds) to check for Breathing. If they are breathing, this means that the blood Circulation is working, providing the body with the valuable Oxygen it needs to survive.

If, however, the passenger is not breathing, 999 must be called to get an ambulance to the scene, because now, time is a big factor, as to whether the passenger can be revived through CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or not, in which case, they will surely die. The mechanical technique of CPR can only be efficiently learnt in the classroom setting, on a One Day Emergency First Aid Course.

So, all you Taxi Cabs out there, who carefully transport us people around our great city all day, you must learn what to do if you are faced with an emergency at work. It is your duty to safeguard the public. First Aid is easy to learn and you do not need any formal qualifications, only a desire to learn the basic skills in First Aid, which are to do the following:

  1. Preserve life
  2. Prevent further injury
  3. Prevent deterioration
  4. Promote recovery
  5. Do no further harm
  6. Always follow DRABC
  7. Control bleeding