EMS Offers Tips For Approaching Emergency Scene On Roadways

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Hamilton County EMS at an accident scene
Hamilton County EMS at an accident scene

With the holidays quickly approaching, motorists will take to the road for their Christmas shopping and visiting with family. Hamilton County EMS wants to remind motorists to be vigilant to EMS personnel working crashes on the streets of Chattanooga/Hamilton County area.

Motorists who approach an emergency scene on the roadway, don’t know how to react or what to do. This confusion can be deadly for EMS personnel and first responders, vehicle crash victims, and other motorists approaching the scene, said officials. Hamilton County EMS shares tips for what to do when approaching an emergency scene on the roadways. 

If at all possible, avoid the area and take an alternate route. Do not make an illegal turn to avoid the incident, but instead plan a different route when you hear there is an issue. 

Slow down as you approach and pass an incident. Remain alert for unexpected occurrences, as this is a different situation than normal roadway driving. 

Move over any time you approach a stopped emergency vehicle. Move your vehicle over a lane away from the incident, as long as it is safe to do so. This gives EMS personnel and first responders room to work on the incident. Remember, this is the law in Tennessee. 

If no responders are yet on the scene and you have a hands-free cell phone, call 9-1-1 to report the incident. Note the location by mile marker, address, and/or landmark so you can report it accurately. 

Look for and obey all temporary traffic control signs and direction from first responders, including lane closures. Temporary traffic control creates a safe work area for EMS personnel and first responders to treat victims on the scene.

Never attempt to go around an emergency scene on the shoulder, drive through it, or turn around to avoid it or the traffic queue. These actions put you, other motorists, and EMS personnel/ first responders at risk of death and injuries. 

Do not take photos or video of the incident as you pass it and do not post on social media. This distracts you from driving, which may cause an accident. It is also disrespectful to the victims and their families, who are going through a traumatic experience. There have been situations where families of victims have found out their loved ones were injured or deceased from social media posts, rather than through an official notification from emergency services, who can provide needed support during the notification. Don’t put a family through the trauma of finding that out in a public forum. 

Remain alert, even if you have to sit in traffic. Now is not the time to let your attention wander or use your cell phone. Unexpected events can happen at emergency incidents and you must be alert so you can react. 

Awareness is the key to safety at accidents scenes. Knowing hazards and how to work around them will ensure the safety of everyone especially during this holiday season, said officials. 


Westbound Wilcox Boulevard To Be Closed Wednesday

Both westbound lanes of Wilcox Blvd will be closed between Roanoke Avenue and Dodson Avenue on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for work being done on the Avondale Recreation Center. View  CDOT's map of event and road closures   for full details of projects underway in our public space.       (click for more)

City Hosts “An Evening Of Pixar Shorts - A Books With Berke Event” On Oct. 24

The City of Chattanooga, Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Chattanooga Public Library will host "An Evening of Pixar Shorts - A Books with Berke Event" at Miller Park on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 6-7:30 p.m. The film festival will include popular Pixar Shorts, such as La Luna, Partly Cloudy, Your Friend the Rat, Dug’s Special Mission and more.  This event is ... (click for more)

City "Moves Away" From $4 Million Light Show On Walnut Street Bridge

The city is no longer pursuing a plan for a $4,050,000 light show on the Walnut Street Bridge. Dennis Malone, assistant city engineer, told City Council members on Tuesday, "We have moved away from that project." The council had earlier pulled capital funding that had been proposed for the "Ripples of Light" on the historic "walking bridge" that dates to 1891. “Ripples ... (click for more)

Developer Of Publix Grocery At St. Elmo To Go Before Variance Board

The developer of a planned Publix grocery in St. Elmo will go before the City Board of Zoning Appeals on Nov. 7 seeking three variances. Mike Price of MAP Engineers said the grocery has been working with community members to try to come up with an acceptable plan for the site where the former Mt. Vernon Restaurant and Pizza Hut are located. There has been controversy over ... (click for more)

Why Are Joda Thongnopnua And Phil Bredesen Downplaying Their Democratic Values?

For the past several months, the Democratic Party has reached a tipping point. “Their Resistance” is to oppose anything and everything Republicans are doing to deliver a stronger economy and better economic opportunities for all Americans.  Yet, I find it very interesting that the public outcry we are seeing from the Democrats on a national level is nowhere to be found when ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s ‘Tennessee Week’

For over 50 years I have heard the line, “There are two things you must never do on ‘The Third Saturday of October.’ You mustn’t ever marry and try not to die because, in either case, the preacher won’t show up.” He’ll be watching “The Game.” Ever since Oct 18, 1901, Tennessee and Alabama have been going at it and that inaugural game set the tone as well as the standard for all ... (click for more)