Staying Safe While Helping Others

Monday, November 12th 2007, 6:04 pm
By: News On 6

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 6’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,” 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