The weather had turned warm and many people were out enjoying the transition from the winter cold. The duty crew was sitting outside the station when the tones sounded. Medic one, Engine one and Rescue one respond to Valley and Pike street. Two car crash with several injuries. Time out 1750.
When units arrived they found two cars with heavy damage. Two victims had moderate injuries and one was serious. As we began treating the victims I decided to close the road while we extricated the injured. This would help protect the rescuers from traffic flowing through the intersection.
As I walked around one of the damaged cars something caught my attention. Someone had gone around the barriers and was coming straight at me. I only had time to jump and as I did the car struck me and flipped me on top of the hood. Before I was able to climb off the car the state patrol had pulled the driver out of the car and arrested him for drunk driving, placing him in the cruiser.
Although a very scary situation I was not injured. Mainly because I had my turnout gear on and it helped pad me from the impact.
Although this incident was caused by a drunk driver. People disregarding emergency vehicles and emergency scenes are becoming a major problem for first responders. On the average six to eight fire rescue and EMS workers are killed working in or near moving traffic each year, as are 10 to 12 police officers.
In addition there are over 6,500 crashes involving ambulances each year. Many of these crashes are due to public drivers not yielding or paying attention to the emergency vehicle. Consider needing an ambulance and they are delayed due to a crash or being slowed do to drivers not paying attention.
The next time you see an emergency vehicle running lights and siren, please yield to them and maybe say a little prayer for them.
Respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.