What is it about Emergency Vehicles (Firetrucks, Ambulance, Police Cars, etc) that make drivers turn into complete idiots. It’s like something short circuits in their brains and they get their thinking mixed up. When Emergency Vehicles are going Code-3 with lights & sirens people don’t seem to pay any attention; But, have one just going down the road and suddenly people start acting all nervous & freaking out.
Drivers just don’t pay attention…..
Many years ago when I was doing my ride along for my EMT-I class I had the opportunity to see such idiocy first hand (and that was only a short stint)… These guys get to deal with this idiocy pretty much every day. Drivers continuing to drive in front of them (with lights & sirens & horn – going full blast) – Suddenly stopping for a red light; Or, swerving in front of them as if they aren’t even there. In the short time that I was doing ride-alongs, there were several such near misses. Let me assure you that trying to stand an ambulance or firetruck on it’s nose, while going code 3 to a call, is not an enjoyable experience. Of course I wasn’t the one driving the ambulance, but if the look on the face of one paramedic (during such a situation) is any indication.
Another situation I witnessed happened at a Fire Station when the smaller “Rescue Truck” was trying to pull out of the driveway with lights & sirens going. In front of that particular station there is a light that is suppose to change to red for street traffic, thus allowing the firetrucks to pull out (hopefully) safely. Due to some glitch or technical difficulty the light did not change as it was suppose to. Apparently some people drive with their eyes glued in front of them, because no-one seemed to pay attention to the Rescue Truck trying to pull out. However, Firefighters did get the last laugh when the bigger Fire Truck (Hook & Ladder – I think it was) Pulled up to the edge of the driveway (the apron) and BLASTED their airhorn. I’ve never seen cars stop so quickly (hee hee hee).
The weird part about all this is that….
whenever people drive up behind an Emergency Vehicle with out lights and/or sirens, they suddenly slow way down as if afraid to pass them or be anywhere near them. This kind of driving can cause accidents as drivers behind are not expecting someone to just suddenly slow way down for no apparent reason. People…. The last time I checked with out lights & sirens most all Emergency Vehicles are just like any other vehicle on the road. No reason to get all freaked out. Just drive normally (and safely).
Emergency Service Personnel have a difficult enough job to do without having to worry about people driving like idiots. Granted, dealing with other drivers (some good, some bad) comes with the territory of driving for anyone (and probably more so for those driving Emergency Vehicles) – But let’s not make it more difficult for them than it has to be
What is Public Safety Tidbits
Public Safety Tidbits is about sharing the tidbits of information I pickup along the way. I forget the source(s), but there are two sayings... "Sharing is knowledge" and "Knowledge is power".