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First on the scene: What to do to help after a serious crash

Something no one wants to witness is a serious crash between two or more vehicles or vehicles and pedestrians. Crashes happen in seconds, and what happens in the seconds following them may determine who lives and dies.

As someone who is the first on the scene, it's important to know what you should do. Right away, it's a good idea to call 911. Even if others have done so already, you need to make sure the call is placed. It's better to be sure than to find out no one called.

Additionally, remember that if you do plan to pull over and help, you need to get your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible so it doesn't end up part of the problem. Once you do park, take a few seconds to collect yourself. What you're going to see next is likely to be a shock, and people in the accident may be hurt or in danger. You need to be in a position to help, not to hinder efforts.

Look for any immediate dangers next. For instance, if there is an obvious fuel leak, it's in everyone's best interests to get away from the vehicles if possible. Turn off the vehicles, too, if it's safe to do so. If people can't be moved and are badly hurt, try not to react in shock; if they see your terror, you could turn a somewhat upsetting situation into one where a person goes into shock.

Remember, the professionals are on their way. If someone passes away at the scene, do what you can to support the others until help arrives.

Source: The Ann Arbor News, "First on the scene of a serious crash? Here's what you should do," Rich Kinsey, accessed May 02, 2018

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