Delivering life-saving aid, while protecting their own lives, is a constant concern for emergency workers. They say staying safe has to be the number one priority. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports one of the leading causes of death and injury for police, firefighters, and emergency responders is vehicle accidents.
A 2005 study by the Rand Corporation reports about 9% of police fatalities between 1998 and 2000 were officers hit by vehicles, while on foot. That type of accident accounted for 4% of EMS deaths.
Friday night's accident, near 12th and Memorial in Tulsa, is just a tragic reminder for everyone of how dangerous accident scenes can be.
Four people were trying to help a woman who had gotten into a motorcycle accident. And, they were all killed when police say a woman, who admitted she'd been drinking, sped through the scene hitting them.
EMSA estimates only a few minutes separated the two accidents. But, they advise other good Samaritans should always be careful.
Jason Whitlow, a paramedic with EMSA, had a close call. He was clipped on an accident scene by a passing car. He says you always have to be aware of your surroundings. And use what you can, like nearby vehicles, to protect yourself.
"The vehicle has the lights. It's a barricade. It's a warning device. So as best we can, we try to keep a vehicle between us and the accident,â€ said paramedic Jason Whitlow.
Whitlow says paramedics are taught to stop for a minute and size up a situation, before they act. It's a moment that can save their lives.
Watch the video: Staying Safe On Accident Scenes