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Do Cell Phones give a false sense of help?

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  • Do Cell Phones give a false sense of help?

    Hello,

    On April 29th, I was travelling eastbound on I-70 in Missouri. Heading home from a charity event in Kansas City. About 50 yards ahead of me, I see a vehicle in the left lane passing another vehicle. Further up the road was a disabled vehicle on the shoulder. The vehicle in the right lane changes lanes without notice and forces the passing vehicle off the roadway. The vehicle spins out of control and flips over in the median.

    I immediately stop on the shoulder and run to the vehicle to check on the driver. I get her out of the vehicle and make sure she is okay before calling 911 for assistance. Being a police officer, this was all second nature for me.

    Now here is the part that makes me wonder.....

    The dispatcher says she has already received several calls about the accident. I notice about a dozen or so vehicles that drive by and no one stops. Even when the vehicle was rolling over, several vehicles passed by with no one, but me, stopping to help.

    Have cell phones now given everyone the feeling that they are helping without helping?

    Yes, people called in the crash, but what help is that when someone is trapped in a vehicle?

    What good is reporting the crash when someone's life is in danger and only physical assistance will save them?

    Have cell phones made us a culture of witnesses instead of saviors?

    Pondering the future....

    C

  • #2
    Maybe they are just using their heads a bit. They realize they have no medical training or extrication training, never been on a chaotic accident scene especially on an interstate.

    So instead of stopping and just getting in the way, clogging up the accident scene with unnecessary vehicles and doing more harm than good they just call for help?

    "I neither approve or blame. I merely relate."- Voltaire

    Comment


    • #3
      There is a joke: You know you live in California when.. " You call 911, and get put on hold"
      All Cell calls in California go to the Calif. Highway Patrol.
      YOU WILL BE ON "HOLD".
      I'm former CHP and not biased. In 2005 and 2006, I attempted four times to call in crashes or cars stalled in lanes. All four times, I gave up after 20 minutes.
      The State is too cheap to hire more dispatchers. Of San Diego Police, San Diego Sheriff's, CHP has the lowest paid dispatchers.
      Instead, the State gives free In-State tuition to Illegal Aliens.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly, if they have no training...I'd rather they just drive on by. But to some extent I agree with what you're saying. Also, people have this massive fear of being sued for trying to help. Good Samaritan laws don't always protect you.
        Considerably.....

        83.9 on the Jeff Co. test! Woohoo!

        Comment


        • #5
          As a call taker I think that in my own personal experience when the accident is serious, people tend to get out and help more. If it is just a fender bender, then they will just call without stopping. Perhaps your experience was a fluke? I don't know....

          As a follow up to what someone else said, calls in CA are starting to be routed to the nearest 911 center instead of the CHP. Not sure how quickly this change is happening or how long it will take, but it's about time. Routing all cell calls to the State Police has always been a bad idea for any state to do.
          MrJim911

          Someone once told me that time is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But maybe time is also a companion who goes with us on our journey, and reminds us to cherish the moments of our lives because they will never come again

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          • #6
            I hate that people "feel good about themselves" as if they saved the world by calling 911 about someone slumped over the wheel. I just imagine them saying to themselves "I may have just saved someone's life!" and then they go home and tell all their friends about their big good Samaritan deed of the day.

            Then, we get there with 3 or 4 emergency vehicles, busting lights - doing the dangerous -

            and it is someone who fell asleep waiting for a towtruck.

            All it takes is ONE freakin' genius to pull over and ask "are you okay?"
            Space for rent .........

            Comment


            • #7
              I've stopped at crashes and I'm not trained. I'm just not an idiot.

              I figure if I'm strapped in my truck and it's shiny-side down in a ditch, I'd rather have an untrained person there than nobody at all.

              Yeah, I know help's coming eventually, but it's comforting to have someone there, if for nothing else than to give you a sense that not everyone only thinks about themselves.

              Since starting my internship though, I have realized one thing: Nobody seems to ever know what way they're traveling. They can be on their way home from work, which they travel every single day and do not know whether they're eastbound or westbound, what road they're near. It's no use stopping or calling if you can't tell anyone where you're at. Since then, I've concentrated heavily on remaining conscious of where I'm at.
              A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

              -GK Chesterton

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              • #8
                Does the US even have Good Samaritan laws? When I took my First Aid a few years ago we were always told that if we go to the US, we do NOT touch ANYBODY that needs assistance, we wait until Paramedics arrive. Reason being was that the person, even if they say they want your help at the time, can turn around and sue you for any physical injuries you MAY have caused by helping them. Here, we have the Good Samaritan law where you can help a person if they are unconscious, or they say yes they want your help, and you are covered if something goes wrong....basically they can't sue you.

                But my ex, who's a paramedic, says that if you see an accident, just keep driving. I thought it was horrible that he said that, especially because witnesses can help! I've phoned for help before but I also have always stayed at the scene.
                Never argue with idiots - they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

                Chaos, Panic and Disorder....my work here is done!

                As her tears fell at his feet, she didn't say "I Love You," what she said meant even more: I laugh, I love, I hope, I tried. I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry and I know you do the same things too. So we're really not that different, me and you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lexis85 View Post
                  Does the US even have Good Samaritan laws? When I took my First Aid a few years ago we were always told that if we go to the US, we do NOT touch ANYBODY that needs assistance, we wait until Paramedics arrive. Reason being was that the person, even if they say they want your help at the time, can turn around and sue you for any physical injuries you MAY have caused by helping them. Here, we have the Good Samaritan law where you can help a person if they are unconscious, or they say yes they want your help, and you are covered if something goes wrong....basically they can't sue you.

                  But my ex, who's a paramedic, says that if you see an accident, just keep driving. I thought it was horrible that he said that, especially because witnesses can help! I've phoned for help before but I also have always stayed at the scene.
                  Whoever told you that line is dead wrong. You can try to help anyone you wish. If your intentions are good and reasonable (...you can't mouth to mouth the supermodel) but the person still kicks it, you are not held liable.
                  A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

                  -GK Chesterton

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting.....did that change recently?

                    They did this thing on Ghost Whisperer where the paramedic Jim (off duty at the time) helped a person in distress. She later turned around and tried to sue him for injuring her chest. I know it's all TV, but what I want to know is, does the US have a country-wide Good Samaritan law that protects passers-by from being sued should the person sustain another injury in the rescue?
                    Never argue with idiots - they just drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

                    Chaos, Panic and Disorder....my work here is done!

                    As her tears fell at his feet, she didn't say "I Love You," what she said meant even more: I laugh, I love, I hope, I tried. I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry and I know you do the same things too. So we're really not that different, me and you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It varies state by state, much as it varies...judge to judge.
                      Considerably.....

                      83.9 on the Jeff Co. test! Woohoo!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I used to stop and help everyone. Broken down vehicles, crashes, car fires, etc. I was a first responder, and a fair shadetree mechanic who usually has tools (I give up on these new cars though).

                        Now I have a family, and I'm simply not willing to put them at risk by stopping. This may be some of the reasoning behind _SOME_ of these people that don't stop.

                        I have to admit I did get out and try to help on a 2 lane road where there was a crash and we were backed up in traffic anyway. Once I saw the firefighters wandering around aimlessly under a banjo-tight power line with a broken pole attached and they wouldn't listed to me when I told them they better get out of there I made a quick exit.
                        Most to those who constantly question authority don't know the real answer to their own question. They blindly and lazily question and resist because they resent authority.

                        Fella 7/9/2008

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