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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Drive with extreme caution, even when running lights and sirens

Driving an inherently unstable, multi-ton vehicle at speeds beyond your ability to maintain full control is simply a disaster waiting to happen

By Arthur Hsieh

A grand jury ruling that an EMT was “negligent but not criminal” in a 2013 ambulance collision at a red light that killed an 18-year-old girl is a tragic reminder that we work in a high-risk environment.

I've commented before about the risk of driving under emergency conditions, especially when there’s not a clear reason for doing so. Take a moment to think about your ability to operate your rig, and if you plan on driving with lights and siren, do so prudently.

Remember that in most, if not all states, you are required to follow the rules of road in nearly all situations. Driving an inherently unstable, multi-ton vehicle at speeds beyond your ability to maintain full control is simply a disaster waiting to happen.

If you think it can't happen to you, please reconsider. I'm sure the driver of this vehicle thought the same thing. 

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 Art.Hsieh@ems1.com.
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