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Protocol firefighters follow when they respond to the scene of a car crash

Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 10:42:07-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - So far this year, firefighters with the Tucson Fire Department have responded to more than 70,000 medical calls, some of those car crashes.

When firefighters respond to the scene of a crash, they follow specific protocol to make sure those involved are OK.

"TFD's focus when it comes to responding for accidents is primarily the treatment of injuries, if anybody needs special tools to get out of the vehicle if it is that mangled if they need to be extricated from the vehicle as well as spill containment and clean up of the scene," said Jessica Nolte, with the Tucson Fire Department.

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Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters work to make sure all those involved are conscious.

If that is the case then first responders work to determine whether there are issues that might be not obvious.

"So our guys are going to come in and take a look at everybody that was involved, check on everybody and clearly if someone is unable to say 'hey I need help' then that's a sign that we give them the help that they need and transport them," said Nolte.

Since firefighters are registered EMT's, they typically have a good sense of when someone should seek additional care, whether that be going to a hospital or simply going to see their primary care doctor.

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When someone involved in a car accident is unconscious when first responders arrive, they are immediately taken to a hospital.

Typically, the decision of whether someone involved in an accident wants to go to a hospital in an ambulance is up to that person, according to Nolte.