What happens when, on your way, you find an accident scene? Do you pass by as if nothing happened, or do you stop and rescue? According to reports, every year, millions of people get involved in an accident. Out of these, few die because no one took them to the hospital for immediate treatment.
Many have also saved their lives after good Samaritans picked them up and rushed them to the hospital. Accidents are common. Being a witness can also mean being a helper to the victims. Here are some ways you can help accident victims.
1- Secure the Accident Scene
Instead of having more accidents in the same scene, you can help by securing the accident scene. Securing the accident scene means stopping and keeping your vehicle on the roadside while flashing hazard lights. You need to provide a barrier to the accident scene and warn other approaching motorists of an accident. Ensure all barrier vehicles have flashlights to warn other incoming traffic. You shouldn’t panic and start shouting, do everything with a lot of care and check if everyone is injured. Never try to pull someone out of the vehicle unless it’s an emergency. Trying to remove them can create more harm than good.
2- Look Over the Accident Scene
After ensuring that the accident scene is secured, access every situation and see if you can offer first aid services to injured victims. If the victims aren’t responding, you can carry out the first aid procedures on your own since these laws governing good Samaritans will protect you. Get details of all the cars and count the number of victims involved before taking any other step. Check if there is any smell of gas, smoke, or fire, and try to keep the victims as far as possible from any signs of fire or burst. Take care of the children, too, and ensure they get carried to safety. Ensure you are safe by wearing gloves and any other protective gear while handling the victims and their luggage.
3- Call for Emergency Services
While calling for the ambulance, it is essential to provide all details to the person receiving your call. Inform them of the number of cars involved, deaths, if any, the number of injuries, and the state of injuries. It will help if you don’t forget to describe the location. Be sure to provide all the required information and hand it up when the operator is satisfied with your information.
4- Warn Incoming Traffic
Besides creating a barrier, it would help if you warned everyone getting to the accident scene. You can use flagmen or any bystanders to warn oncoming traffic or by flashing hazard lights. Modern vehicles also have flares that can get ignited to help to warn other incoming traffic. Having emergency flashers can also be useful. Place the flares some hundred feet before and after the accident. While igniting anything, ensure there is no gas leakage. If you have safety vests, you can offer the witness to warn other incoming vehicles.
5- First Aid
Anybody can offer first aid, but you need to take care and ensure it’s safe to do so. Before conducting first aid, check the victim’s status and check if there are fractures or bruises, and if they are alive and kicking. Use the first aid kit to address any wounds as you wait for the ambulance. You can also perform CPR services for those unconscious. If anyone gets trapped in the vehicle, break the glasses and lift them out—no pulling or dragging as you may worsen the situation. If the victims are responsive and are talking, ask them where they need the help most. Any dead body should be covered and placed aside, away from the victims, to avoid panic and trauma.
6- Treat Shock and Comfort the Victim
As you wait for the ambulance to arrive, treat shock, and try to comfort the victims. How do you do this? Try to loosen the clothing and cover them with warm blankets, while raising their legs. Try to calm them by offering encouraging words, assuring them that they will be okay. You can even hold their hands and assure them help is on the way. Even if someone has passed on, it’s not the right time to tell them so, even if they ask.
When the ambulances arrive, provide the doctors with the required details, including the first aid given. Ask them politely if you can follow the victims to the hospital and provide your contacts for follow-up. By doing the above tips, you would have saved lives. The world has few good Samaritans. You can be part of the few.