Roadway incidents are a hot zone for EMS

Roadway LODDs are tragic reminders of the importance of time, distance and shielding to reduce hot zone risk


With an average 1,500 ambulance crashes per year resulting in injury, it’s time to recognize patient transport as a high-frequency, high-risk activity deserving a safety overhaul in EMS. Learn more in a special coverage Paramedic Chief Digital Edition, “How to improve patient and provider safety on the road." 

This article was originally posted Jan. 6, 2020. It has been updated.

Roadside deaths are unspeakable tragedies for the family, friends and colleagues of each person killed, and a reminder of the dangers of working on the roadway, on- or off-duty, inside a vehicle or out in the elements.

Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Whitehead has repeatedly said, “The roadway is the most dangerous environment” for EMS providers, as well as firefighters, police officers, tow truck operators, construction workers and stranded motorists. 

When you respond to a vehicle collision, you are at an extremely hazardous incident and working in a hot zone requiring a WMD approach. Reduce your risk with time, distance and shielding:

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