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Helping the Emergency Services in a Traffic Accident

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Helping The Emergency Services During An

With traffic accidents and incidents on the increase in the UK, there may come a time when you will arrive at the scene of an accident before anyone else. Perhaps you’re involved in the accident, or maybe you’re just a passer-by. Either way, it’s important that you know exactly what to do there in order to help the emergency services and make their job easier.

Warning Others Helps the Emergency Services

If you arrive at the scene of an accident or are in one where you’re uninjured, it’s your responsibility to other people to make sure you warn them where possible. Park your vehicle with your headlights or hazard warnings lights on in order to warn oncoming traffic. Ideally parking where you face oncoming traffic is best as they will spot you more easily. Also, if you have a hazard warning triangle in your car, place it on the road where others will see it. Be careful not to place yourself in danger however, and always watch out for other drivers.

If you’re driving with another passenger, give them the task of heading back up the road a little to wave down other drivers and warn them of the situation. Again, be careful, other drivers may not be paying attention and the last thing you want is another accident when you’re trying to help.

Inform the Emergency Services as Soon as Possible

As soon as you are able, call the emergency services so that they can process the call and get someone out to the scene. Stay calm and speak clearly when doing so, panicking won’t speed up the process and will only serve to create panic in other people in the vicinity. When you contact the emergency services, clearly state which service you need and then give them your telephone number. This means that if you’re unexpectedly cut off from the call, they will be able to contact you again.

Then provide them with the location of the accident including as many details as possible. If you know the road number or name give them this. If you’re not sure, look for local landmarks or give them an approximate location. You should also be able to succinctly provide them with an overall view of the accident. Tell them what appears to have happened and who the injured persons are. Giving them this kind of information allows the emergency services to carry out a brief assessment of who they need to send out and how serious the accident seems to be.

Helping the Emergency Services by Dealing with the Injured

If you have a first aid certificate you will already know how to deal with injured individuals at the scene of an accident. For most people however, this isn’t the case and we often panic when realising it’s up to us to deal with an injured person who may be in shock and panic. Generally the quiet casualties are the worst injured. Individuals who are noisy and panicking tend to be more aware of the situation and therefore can often be considered to be less of a priority. Still, if there are some who are noisy and stressed, try to reassure them that help is on the way and they should remain as calm as possible.

One of the most important things to be aware of at the scene of an accident is that you shouldn’t move casualties. You are not helping the emergency services by doing this and may actually cause further damage to the injured person. Immediately check them for breathing to make sure they have strong breaths. If not, clear their mouth and gently tilt their head back. Then, pinch their nose closed and gently blow into their mouth at five second intervals. If anyone involved in the accident is bleeding profusely, apply firm pressure to the would in order to slow the bleeding.

Often these small things can make a huge difference to the person and can be enough to keep them alive until the emergency services arrive. The emergency services will appreciate anyone who takes time to consider what they’re doing at the scene of an accident and who helps them out by acting responsibly and safely.

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