Witnessing a crash
It's pretty likely that you could be a witness to a crash at some point in your life.
But if faced with a scene of a crash would you know what to do?
The first few minutes after a serious crash are critical and could help save a life.
Calling the Ambulance Service
Make sure someone has called for an ambulance. Don't assume this has already happened. Often after a crash, people are in shock, and are unable to make clear decisions or take appropriate action.
Call triple zero (000) and ask for ambulance. The operator will ask you a list of important questions to obtain all the info required to ensure help is on its way.
- What is the exact address of the emergency? The operator will ask you for the suburb and the nearest cross street. If you do not know where you are, look around for landmarks or ask someone.
- What is the phone number you are calling from? This is important in case they need to call back to get more information.
- What is the problem, tell me exactly what happened? Try to be as clear and detailed as you can.
- How old is he or she?
- Is he or she conscious?
- Is he or she breathing?
Waiting for the ambulance
You should use the time until the ambulance arrives to assess the crash site for any other potential dangers and help anyone who is injured.
Firstly remember your own safety - you can't help anyone if you are hurt too. So look out for anything that could harm you and other people around the crash area.
Some common dangers at a road crash include:
- Fallen power lines.
- Leaking fuel.
- Inactivated airbags.
- Other vehicles.
- Car engines still running.
If it is safe, you should put the car into park, pull up the handbrake and turn off the engine.
Helping injured people
Firstly, reassure anyone that is injured, assistance is on the way.
In most cases, it's best not to move anyone who's been hurt. It is not safe to move an injured person unless you are qualified, for example a fully trained paramedic. If it's safe you can park your car between them and the traffic for protection, remembering to turn on your hazard lights.
When the ambulance arrives
Paramedics are top-notch medical professionals who are trained to provide the advanced medical treatment that is needed before and during transport. They can treat the patient whilst travelling to the hospital - which is often time critical to a person's survival.
Generally, the paramedics will check everyone's injuries at the crash scene, but usually treat the most critically injured people first.
When people are in a high speed crash, the ambos will always recommend they be taken to hospital for a full check up by medical staff.
Want more info?
Hopefully you won't see or be involved in a serious crash. But if you are, try to stay calm and remember these tips.
If you want more info about ambulance services in NSW, check out the Ambulance Service of NSW website www.ambulance.nsw.gov.au
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