The greatest chance we have to get seriously injured or killed (traumatically) in the Line of Duty is on the roadways highways and interstates. It seems lately there isn’t a day that goes by where we aren’t provided with details to back that statement up.
While some are as bad as a gets-such as the Line of Duty Death of Lt Brad Clark in Hanover County VA where he gave his life, and other Firefighters were critically injured on the interstate, thankfully others are less critical…and they occur within the full range of severity.
Yesterday’s incident was one of those that blew us away…especially when we saw the attached pictures.
Seven people were hurt in a this Louisville (KY) crash that involved an ambulance and five other vehicles. It happened around 1604 hours on I-264. What happened is that the driver of the ambulance pulled over when a patient in the back became combative. When the driver went back to help with the combative patient — the ambulance was struck by a dump truck. Police were responding but had not arrived yet.
EMT’s Christopher Barrett and Kristopher Haeberlin were injured. Barrett’s condition was listed as serious, and Haberlin is stable, with several scrapes and bruises. Thankfully, both are awake and talking. The other injuries are non life threatening.
When you see the pictures attached to this TSL, you will understand our reaction. It’s truly a miracle that the medics survived.
And once again we see just how dangerous it is when we operate on roadways. Of course, the goal, when at all possible, should be to manage/divert traffic, using large units to block and protect, but this situation didn’t allow for that immediately.
Anymore, with distracted driving seeming to be “mainstream” – I can’t help but think that when we are responding to roadway crashes/incidents, that the answer is to just shut the road down until we are done taking care of the emergency. Relax, I fully understand some Police, DOT and others disagree. Don’t bother writing to argue how important it is to keep the roadway open-I get it-but don’t care. Too many Firefighters, EMT’s, Cops, Tow and DOT folks are getting struck.
Below is a link to Responder Safety who has loads of free training available related to attempting to SURVIVE on the roadways. Don’t ignore the opportunity for this NO COST training for every member of you department.
RESPONDER SAFETY TRAINING:
When operating on the roadways, set your response up with an anticipation that drivers are not paying attention, and your “emergency” is of no concern to you. Actually, act as if drivers are going to hit you…now knowing that, train, respond, react and set up based upon that.