A blind woman holds the reflective strips on the back of the uniform of a rescuer during an emergency drill on May 25, 2014. Beijing has set up its first professional emergency relief team for blind people, which will provide emergency rescue services to the city's visually impaired residents. [Photo: Lin Hui/Legal Evening News/CFP]
Beijing has set up its first professional emergency relief team for the visually impaired, which will provide emergency rescue service to blind people in the city, Legal Evening News reported on Sunday.
The team, consisting of 20 volunteers from the Beijing Hongdandan Blind Culture Service Center, is assigned to the Beijing Municipal Emergency Volunteer Service Corps.
The uniforms they wear are specially designed by teachers and students from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, which has reflective strips on the back to help those with weak vision identify them in the dark.
The strips are firm enough for blind people to hold tight, which can help the team members guide them or carry them in an emergency situation.
What's more, there's a sound-emitting device in the pocket of all uniforms to let the visually impaired know the position of the rescuers.
All 20 members of the relief team have received professional rescue training from Beijing Emergency Relief Foundation, including emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to search wreckage for those needing aid.
Zheng Xiaojie, who is in charge of the Beijing Hongdandan Blind Culture Service Center, said visually impaired people don't have basic knowledge of saving themselves. Likewise, the lack of communication between untrained rescue members and blind people could slow down rescue efforts.
For example, during flooding in July 2012, it took police five hours to find visually impaired residents and direct them home. 1 2 3 4