Heroes among us

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

As is the case in vehicle accidents, the fine line between life and death rests not in the hands of a physician with a wall full of medical degrees, but rather with the skills of an emergency responder.

How fortunate we are here in rural northeastern North Carolina to have many highly skilled individuals who rush to the aid of someone in need.

There are many documented cases where if it was not for the meticulous efforts of those to first arrive on the scene, the victim may have been added to a list of those who have unfortunately lost their lives in such mishaps.

Here at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, we have first-hand knowledge of how mere seconds play a role in saving lives. The police scanners inside our office are all too often filled with the voices of dispatchers directing our local emergency responders to accident scenes. Thankfully, the majority are simple “fender-benders” and do not carry a risk of severe injury.

However, there are cases where vehicle accidents rise to the severe level. It’s in those calls where all the hours of training put in by our emergency responders and their quick response times are directly associated with saving lives.

We too have rushed to those same accident scenes….not to “rubberneck” but to do our jobs to report the news. On all those calls, we’ve witnessed a well-oiled machine at work…. a small army of emergency responders performing their respective tasks with clockwork precision.

Keep in mind that these individual response units train in different styles, and not necessarily together. But yet when a motor vehicle accident them together in one place, it’s like they have spent years together in training.

Firefighters use power tools to remove sheet metal, allowing the paramedics and EMTs to gain access to the driver. With a life or lives hanging in the balance, these highly trained responders carefully gain access to the driver/passengers where medical attention is immediately given.

Meanwhile, emergency management officials, to include law enforcement, work behind the scenes to block off traffic – allowing the medics/firefighters more room to work. In some extreme cases, work is also performed to land a medical helicopter at the scene.

All of this is accomplished in a timely and cautious manner, which is the difference between saving a life and mourning a tragic loss.

The next time you see an EMT, paramedic or firefighter, reach out your hand and offer thanks for the jobs they do…24/7/365. Better yet, if one of those entities is hosting a fundraiser, reach into your wallet and offer your support.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald