After the tragic events of Sept. 11, American citizens across the nation have been asking the question, how can we help in an emergency situation?
Although not much can be done by untrained professionals, simple safety measures can be performed by ordinary citizens to ensure that emergency personnel receive the maximum amount of help in any situation.
Despite Carbon County being a small community, many emergencies do occur here. They may not be disasters the size of Sept. 11, but they are emergencies in which human lives are at stake.
Often times, Carbon County motorists encounter emergency vehicles approaching at a high rate of speed. Even though the emergency vehicle has its lights on, motorists frequently fail to pull over and allow the vehicle to pass. This could very easily be a life threatening mistake, but it is also against the law.
When an emergency vehicle approaches a traveling motorist, the motorist must pull over onto the shoulder of the road to allow the it to pass. After it is clear that the emergency crew is past and no other emergency personnel are following close behind, the motorist can then enter the roadway.
Do remember however that other emergency crews may follow, so always remain alert and listen for sirens and continuously glance in the rear view mirror to ensure no other emergency vehicles approach.
It is extremely important to remember that someone's life may be on the line when emergency crews are traveling the roadway with their lights and sirens activated. By ignoring the law which states that all motorist must pull over and yield to these emergency crews, the driver of a a vehicle not only jeopardizes someone's life, but they also jeopardize their own.
By failing to pull over, motorist risk the safety of themselves and other motorist when the emergency vehicle is forced to make risky passes to avoid traffic which is in their path.
Often times when an emergency occurs such as an automobile accident or a fire, curious residents will respond to the scene to witness what is going on. If this occurs or if a citizen finds themselves amid an emergency, caution must be exercised.
If a motorist approaches a scene of an accident and is distracted by what is going on, further accidents may occur. By not paying attention to the roadway, motorists put other drivers at risk. It is best to pass the scene with care or if curiosity gets the best of the resident, pull over. It beats causing a second accident to occur.
If a resident does approach the scene of an accident, it is extremely important to remember to not become part of the scene. Do so by staying clear of the event. Stay out of the way of emergency personnel and do not bother them by asking questions. They are amid an emergency situation and distractions only interrupts their duties.
Although a police officer who is pulled over onto the side of the road is not always an emergency, it is important for motorists to approach this scene with caution too.
Recently it was announced that Utah motorists must yield to an officer who is on a routine traffic stop. By doing so, the officers life will not be jeopardized by fast moving vehicles.
Without warning, the officer may open their door or step away from the parked vehicle. When this occurs, fast moving traffic could easily hit the officer causing severe injury. To avoid this, motorists must slow down and give the officer room between themselves and oncoming traffic.
Sometimes, residents encounter accident scenes before emergency personnel are even dispatched. The best thing for the resident to do is call 911 immediately. Give the proper information to the dispatcher and wait for emergency crews to arrive.
Even if little or no training has been offered to a bystander, dispatch crews may offer information which will be useful for the victim of the accident.
Regardless, if a Carbon County resident witnesses or discovers an emergency situation, this person must respond by calling emergency authorities. Most of the time, this is the best action that can be made in any serious mishap.
Carbon County emergency crews put their lives on the line everyday in order to serve and protect the residents of the Castle Valley area. Now it is time for residents to give back to these crews by responding with courtesy and allowing these crews to perform their duties as best as possible without interference.