Avoiding Tragedy In Emergencies

Sometimes, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians take risks when responding to emergencies. Flashing lights and sirens usually alert other motorists, avoiding accidents.

But sometimes, as happened in a Columbus suburb a few days ago, tragedy results.

There, a police officer responding to an armed robbery report was speeding through town with his siren and flashing lights on when a car ran a red light, then stopped in an intersection in front of the cruiser. Six people, including four children, died in the ensuing crash.

First responders follow strict policies and procedures regarding high-speed driving. Yet sometimes, as the Ohio crash shows, the precautions are not enough.

No one wants a high-speed response to an emergency to turn into a tragedy greater than the one police, firefighters and ambulance crews are trying to prevent.

Local law enforcement, firefighting and emergency ambulance agencies should take what happened near Columbus as a warning. High-speed driving policies and procedures should be reviewed and, if necessary, improved.