A Bladen County, North Carolina ambulance was heading back to Elizabethtown after picking up a patient from a doctor’s appointment when a driver of another vehicle ran a stop sign and hit the ambulance. The accident happened around 11:30 am on May 19, 2009 in Wilmington, N.C. According to Channel 6 Wilmington News the patient in the ambulance was taken to the hospital as a safety precaution but nothing was stated as to the possibility of injuries. Two people who were in the vehicle than ran the stop sign were both taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Wilmington Authorities stated that the driver who ran the stop sign was cited with driving with a suspended license and will face additional charges. The additional charges were not specified.
Even though EMS personnel are certified Emergency Vehicle Operators and are well trained, no one can be 100% prepared for an irresponsible motorist. Not only does it affect the safety and lives of the person who is being transported by the ambulance but it also affects the dedicated paramedics and EMTs and in addition puts a burden on the emergency medical system. It is a fact that motor vehicle accidents are the highest cause of injury and death for EMS personnel. Keeping the roadway safe for an ambulance crew allows them to do their job and get their patient to their destination as safely and quickly as possible.
It is our responsibility as drivers sharing the road to watch out for emergency vehicles. Keep the radio at a low volume so that you can hear a siren. When an emergency vehicle approaches with lights and siren and if it is safe to do so, pull over and stop your vehicle. If it is not safe to pull over, stop where you are and let the vehicle work its way around you.
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