Dangerous Ride: Distracted drivers putting local first responders in increasing danger

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The holidays are here and distracted driving remains a constant threat to motorists everywhere.​

But, what happens when the lives of first responders and the ones they’re trying to save, are put in harm’s way because someone is texting and driving? ​

It happens and it happens all too often.

“Oh my goodness, did you see that?”

Emergency responders face a lot of challenges on the road in the rush to save lives.

“It’s basically controlled chaos.”

“It looked like she was on her cell phone.”

Adam Olivier, Operations Coordinator for Acadian Ambulance says, “It’s very uncontrolled situations we have to watch for safety and our partner’s safety and our patients safety and it’s just difficult to keep everyone safe in these uncontrolled environments.”

Their job can be emotionally tough and it can also be hazardous to them.

Unfortunately first responders can become victims themselves.

Olivier says, “It happens on a daily basis, honestly multiple times a day. It’s the distracted driving incidents that have skyrocketed lately with the advent of cell phones and touch screen radios and it’s easy to become distracted while driving.”

So what saves them?

Olivier says its important, “They fall back on their training, emergency vehicle operations course and sometimes we just have someone watching over us and the other motorists.”

Acadian Ambulance EMT Kerri LeBeouf says “We’re trained to always have a backup plan, look for a way out in every situation and the safest, a lot of it is our training and it’s also just sometimes luck.”

These first responders admit, even the best of training and safety practices can not protect them from potentially deadly accidents, something that could be avoided altogether.”

Olivier ends with a sobering statistic saying, “Distracted driving is becoming the number one killer of drivers especially young people. So as much as you can, put the phone down and don’t text and drive.”

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