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  1. ITV Report

Black cab drivers in London to get medical and terror attack training

Black cab drivers will train to respond to medical emergencies. Credit: PA

Black cab drivers across the capital will soon be trained to respond to terror attacks and medical emergencies.

London's 17,500 drivers will be taught how to deal with situations such as acid attacks, choking, strokes and severe bleeding.

The new course has been developed by taxi hailing app mytaxi with the aim of boosting their "health, safety and people skills".

The Knowledge+ programme will also require drivers to practise life-saving techniques such as CPR and the use of defibrillators.

Training content will be partly provided by counter-terror experts and psychologists.

Many cabbies have experienced driving sick passengers to hospital. Credit: PA

A recent survey revealed that cabbies felt they were increasingly stepping in for emergency services and facing dangerous situations.

More than two-thirds (71%) had taken passengers to hospital, while 7% said they had experienced customers having a stroke or heart attack.

One driver taxied a passenger with a gunshot wound, while another ferried a woman whose drink had been spiked with a date-rape drug.

Fourteen said women had given birth in their cabs.

And nearly 24% said they had come to the aid of the public in a terrorist incident.

Around 17,500 drivers will receive training. Credit: PA

Michelle Kerrigan, national partnerships manager for St John Ambulance, said: "Taxi drivers are increasingly first on the scene in an emergency, and we know that administering first aid in those crucial first few minutes can be the difference between life and death."

Chris Phillips, a former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, said that London faced threats from terror which were "changing at an unprecedented pace".

He continued: "You can pretty much guarantee that whatever incident happens in London, a black cab will be at the scene or near by.

"Professionalising their response is a brilliant way to help keep Londoners safe."