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When do you stop to help others on the road?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by emt1581, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    Personally, if I see the driver on a cell phone, I do not stop, unless there is debree all over and it looks pretty bad, or if I can see there is someone injured.

    On the other hand if it looks like they need help, and no one else has already stopped to help, I pull over put up my light and turn on the high beams.

    On Christmas Eve I stopped to help out a guy who had flipped his Ford SUV on it's roof. The front interior was completly smashed in, he was fooling around with his hearing aid, but had not a scratch on him. I was like WOAH!

    Anyways, what criteria have to be met in order for you to stop and help out?


  2. podwich


    Sep 7, 2000
    I'll stop if it's apparent someone needs help. I don't just stop for random vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Being the first on scene for an accident would warrant stopping. If the scene looks fishy, I probably won't stop.

  3. jlw_84

    jlw_84 General Glocker

    Nov 8, 2002
    If there is an accident with possible injuries and no other help has arrived, I *may* stop.

    I have stopped in the past and rendered BLS care until the squad arrived.
  4. pizzaaguy


    May 8, 2002
    Central Florida
    If I witness an accident and it's safe for me to pull over...I go help out. If I cannot safely pull over, I call 9-1-1 and report the accident.
  5. DepChief

    DepChief Get Tous's Rope

    Nov 27, 2004
    Outer Banks, NC
    Anyways, what criteria have to be met in order for you to stop and help out?


    -Emt1581 [/B][/QUOTE]

    What criteria? Usually a sign on the side of the vehicle that reads "Hawaiian Tropic Swimsuit Team" or any vehicle with A "Hooters" employee parking sticker. But thats just my thinking, I may be wrong!
  6. G21FAN

    G21FAN Useless loser Millennium Member

    Apr 23, 1999
    Pell City, Alabama
    I will not stop, as I feel I am in danger from the traffic w/o official vehicle and warning lights. Also, if injured, the dept. will not cover/compensate me off duty if I am disabled due to injuries.
  7. obxemt

    obxemt Chaplain of CT

    I suppose I would stop for any obvious emergency with no one on scene yet. I'm always armed and have LEDs and HAWs all over my truck, but I'm a squirell, what can I say?
  8. Tvov


    Sep 30, 2000
    I stop if I think I can actually do something, and I don't have my kids with me (they're young, don't want them sitting in vehicle alone on the side of the highway). At the least, I may call it in. I can usually give a decent location, as opposed to so many cell emergency calls along the lines of "It is on the right hand side of the highway in Connecticut" (!).
  9. DepChief

    DepChief Get Tous's Rope

    Nov 27, 2004
    Outer Banks, NC

    Try living in a county that is basically an island 85 miles long on the Atlantic ocean and having people call 911 for an emergency and give their location as "on the beach"!
  10. Glock-A-Roo


    Jan 18, 2000
    I would love to see more replies on this one. I've had experienced medics give me 180-degree opposite responses on this, from "I'd stop in a heartbeat & help" to "no f*&cking way I'd stop; too easy to get hurt and/or sued".

    I stopped once (only opportunity so far). I was first on scene and while the 20 y/o female driver was not seriously hurt, she was the victim of hit & run and was very scared. It was good to help her calm down and provide a full SAMPLE report to the responding crew.
  11. obxemt

    obxemt Chaplain of CT

    Were it a scared 20-year-old male, would you still have stopped? I think not! ;f
  12. obxprnstar

    obxprnstar Goth Lover

    Jan 8, 2003
    Zombie Patrol
    Bridges and Interstates are the only time I stop. Or if it is a mom in a mini van on the side of the road. My thought process is, if my wife has a flat tire and is broken down on the side of the road I would hope somone else would stop. Of course this would be moot if she knew how to change a flat, but...
  13. Slinger646

    Slinger646 King of Sling

    Sep 5, 2004
    In the Mountains of VA
    I stop for any MVA, and random breakdowns....its good juju, One of these days im going to breakdown and hopefully someone will stop for me
  14. Ankeny

    Ankeny Millennium Member

    Jun 3, 1999
    Shoshoni, WY
    I suppose it kind of depends on where you live. Out here in the middle of Wyoming, I stop for anyone who looks like they need help. If it's a MVA with possible injuries, not stopping is not even a consideration. In fact, failure to stop and render aid is a violation of the law (don't know that it's ever enforced).

    We had a rather nasty wreck in early December at 2:30 AM on a Sunday morning on a "major" Wyoming secondary. We stopped both lanes of traffic for about half an hour. At the end of that time there were three rigs waiting in the South bound lane and about 7 or 8 North bound. if people didn't stop, folks would be screwed.
  15. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

    Mar 20, 2003
    Land of the toothless!
    I do the same thing.

    I'll pull over and if everything looks kosher I'll get out and offer to help.

    It's good karma!
  16. caddyshack

    caddyshack AmbulanceDriver

    Feb 19, 2001
    If there are no LEO's, or other emergency personal on location, I stop, especially if its inside my home district. When EMS does show up, and they indicate they need no help from me, I'm gone.

  17. I almost always stop to help with very few exceptions. I have emergency lights on my truck,tools,two way radio,cell phone, and a well stocked Med kit. To not help when I can would be remiss in my duties as a citizen. I'm also usually armed so if they are up to no good I will deal with that as well, it is not an excuse not to help when you can.;g
  18. TheTam


    Apr 22, 2003
    Texas Hill Country
    I'm not a firefighter or EMS personnel, but I've had first aid and CPR training all my life, as well as a healthy dose of sports medicine and general outdoor experience.

    I will generally stop if:

    1. There are no police or EMS or firefighters on the scene.
    2. Accident looks bad.

    I'd appreciate some feedback on first aid I gave a month ago, which has haunted me to this day. I hope I did the right things.

    SITUATION: I came upon a bad-looking wreck (large late-model SUV and smaller SUV, both looked totaled) in north Austin. No police, EMS or firetruck, so I stop, grab first-aid kit and phone and run over. There's a man standing with blood soaking one thigh pantsleg, and he he's holding paper towels to catch blood running from his nose and mouth. Also, one eye looks bad. The bystander who'd given him paper towels said the man had teeth missing.

    I suggested he sit down, since he looked woozy. He squatted down. When he started tilting his head back, I told him to tilt it forward so the blood would run out, not back down his throat. Then, another bystander told him to apply direct pressure to his bleeding nose. That struck me as a very bad idea, since blood coming from his nose and mouth--and missing teeth--suggested facial fractures, so I told him not to do that, to just hold the towels under his nose. He took my advice and I saw his hand ease off.

    He asked if someone could call his wife, so I took her name and number and called her, taking care to stay calm so as not to panic her.

    (My general approch to helping is that if I don't know what to do, I do nothing.)

    The firefighter, EMS and cops came so I got out of their way. I asked one EMS worker who didn't seem busy where they were taking the man, got the answer, called the injured man's wife and told her, then gave the wife's name and number to EMS.

    I really felt for the man, since this was a week before Christmas and my feeling was that he was facing a world of hurt, many surgeries, and much pain. When they put him on the stretcher, his head lolled back and he passed out. It was apparent he'd been holding himself together. From looking at his SUV, it was obvious he'd hit a utility pole head-on and bounced back a foot or two--big U-shaped indentation in the hood compartment.

    A month later, an attorney for the man called me, trying to find out how the accident happened. He said the man had had 2 surgeries, had had to have a trach tube, still had the trach tube, and "wasn't out of the woods yet." He also said the man's air bag had not deployed, and his facial injuries came from hitting the steering wheel. He also mentioned the police had given the injured man a ticket for running red light, at which point I did lose some sympathy, but told the attorney what I'd seen at the scene, stressing that I did not see the accident happen.

    So, did I do OK?

    I am planning to take the Wilderness First Responder class some time this year, since I run around with a bunch of adventure racers and we're often out in remote areas.

  19. Nine times out of ten I will not stop. It is just too dangerous both physically and fiscally. An incident at work confirmed my belief- One shift I had no partner so I was driving squads back and fourth between maintenance. On the interstate I saw a little fender bender on the side of the road so I hit the lights and pulled up behind them. Advised dispatch, got out and was making sure everyone was ok, which was the case. Walked back to the truck to advise distpatch and a rubber-necker induced a chain reaction MVA right there.One moron almost struck the squad. five cars involved. It went from a minor fender-bender on the berm to choking the three lane intersate down to one lane. MVA's attract idiots' attention. If I am off duty and see an MVA I dont get out of my vehicle, with out the protection of a large squad or better yet an engine to hide behind I think it is pure folly. I drive by and report the MVA. I will stop however if there is an immediate danger of loss of life(ie:burning vehicle with entrapment) or if I see an injured child. After ten years of being a paramedic, my primary concern is to arrive home in the same condition I left in.;b