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Safety first: Crashes highlight the need to be careful News

March 15, 2012

EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Safety first: Crashes highlight the need to be careful

We all know how unstable our emergency units are, and we also know how unpredictable the driving public is

By Arthur Hsieh

I was saddened by the news regarding the death of an EMS attendant in Ohio.

Coincidence, probably, but I've noticed that since March 1, there have been at least a dozen ambulance crashes reported in various media outlets.

At least one had an associated patient fatality. The details on all of the crashes are not yet known.

In fact, we are not tracking these events nationwide; according to the National EMS Assessment , not many states track crashes within their borders.

Folks, please be careful out there when handling your multi-ton vehicles. We all know how unstable our emergency units are, and we also know how unpredictable the driving public is.

Add in a dash of bad weather, inadequate driver training and unnecessary speeding, and it's a recipe for disaster just waiting to happen.

My heart goes out to the families of those killed so far this year. Don't make it worse by adding your name to the National EMS Memorial.

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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Kevin Agard Kevin Agard Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:45:20 PM Amen! Art, NAEMT and the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Research in EMS just went live with EMS Voluntary Event Notification Tool (E.V.E.N.T). It's a voluntary tool for reporting near-miss incidents, and line of duty deaths and patient safety events located at Being voluntary, I'm sure it'll have it's issues but it's better than what's out there now, which is virtually nothing. Kevin Agard Vice President National EMS Memorial Service.

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