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Previous Entry busy girl with a busy mind Feb. 1st, 2005 @ 03:04 pm Next Entry
It's been an oddly busy day today. Lots of little tasks for me to take care of for lots of different people. People getting lost somewhere in Columbia and calling to ask me how to get to the office. People coming in without appointments and asking to see important people. People coming in with appointments for interviews with people who aren't in today. Lots to keep my mind off the fact that

I saw a car accident today. I was waiting to merge at the traffic light near my office on my way out to lunch, and someone ran a red light while someone else was crossing the intersection. I was at a right-turn merging area, so I'm not really sure who had the light on their side, but the one who hit went up and along the median, knocking down a sign or two, while the one who was hit spun around and came to a stop. The airbag in the second car expanded, and the horn started sounding continuously. There was an older couple in this second car, and it looked like the man, who was driving, was knocked out. I stopped where I was and got out of the car, but by the time I got there, there were already several people gathered around trying to help the people in the car, and my phone was turned off, so someone managed to get ahold of 911 before I could get through. More and more people started coming over, and after five minutes or so of standing around not knowing how to help and feeling like I and my car were both in the way, I got back in and drove off. And immediately felt bad. I honestly think that there was nothing I could do, and there were plenty of ways that I could be in the way, but it felt wrong to go about my business when there was someone who might be seriously hurt. Did I do badly?

ETA: It's not so much that I thought I could help in any sort of medical or first-aid capacity, as that would be silly, as I have no experience or training in that area. I would be useless. Basically it was a feeling of "I saw it happen and I should tell someone" even though everyone already knew, combined with "someone needs help, maybe I should stick around in case they need someone to carry something or do something equally simple". If that makes any sense.
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Date:February 1st, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
Unless you're a trained EMT and I don't know about it, I'd say you did exactly all that you could.

On top of that, you tried, which means you did more than most people would. How many people who were waiting for that light just drove off?
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Date:February 1st, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)


Nope, no secret medical training. Basically, part of my thoughts were that since I saw it as it happened, I maybe should stay around as a witness. But then I thought that there were already plenty of witnesses there, and that my point of view wouldn't be particularly helpful. And I wanted to see if he was all right, but I didn't want to be in the way of the people who could actually help him be all right, and basically I worked myself up into a nice little doubt-myself fit. But I'm feeling better now that some time has passed.
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Date:February 1st, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
You tried to help. 911 was called. People were there. Unless you got some training in New Zealand, you don't even have first-aid experience. So even if you'd gotten to the car, there wouldn't have been much for you to do. Don't feel bad.

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Date:February 1st, 2005 08:59 pm (UTC)
Nope, you didn't do badly at all.

If you want, you could call the police department of whatever city it was in and say you saw an accident this morning, do they need witnesses?

Typically, in a situation like that, people who aren't trained in some sort of way are *in* the way.

It does make sense. And it's a scary weird uncomfortable thing to happen. You did exactly what you needed to, though, if not more.
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Date:February 1st, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
Here's a kitty! She is not green and dangerous!
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Date:February 1st, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
Actually, you probably helped when you left-- as long as the immediate calling 911 and all was taken care of, the only thing onlookers would be good for would be getting in the way of the EMTs and all them. Better to just leave once you know everything's going to be as good as it's going to get than to hang around gawping. No really. You did the right thing.
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Date:February 2nd, 2005 04:52 am (UTC)
I think you did right. I'm now taking a Red Cross first aid class and one of the first things we learned in first aid class was to try to get bystanders to assist us if we are needed to give aid, because we have only two hands but can instruct others to do simple things, like call for help or keep the scene safe or monitor someone's breathing or to keep back other bystanders. So I think it was awesome that you stopped to see if you could help. I also know that after a certain point, or if no one knows what to do, that people standing around are just a hinderence, so it also sounds like you drove away at a fine time. Being a witness might have been important if your point of view had been needed, but it sounded like it wasn't.

Oh yeah, by the way, Red Cross first aid/CPR courses are the coolest thing ever. I highly recommend them.
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Date:February 2nd, 2005 12:28 pm (UTC)
As far as first aid goes, most everyone does know how to deal with at least one life-threatening situation: bleeding. If you saw someone bleeding severely, I'm sure you'd know what to do to help. Usually things aren't so straightfoward, though.

All the more reason to go up and see if you can help, and then to leave if you can't.
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