Accidents

Accidents

In the modern age of internet and ubiquitous mobile phone usage, why do traffic jams still exist? Why does it take a tow truck so long to arrive at the scene of an accident? If the cars can be moved, why does the law not insist those involved move to a parking lot to exchange information. If the involved parties can’t clear the scene within two minutes, take a picture of the licenses, registrations, vehicles, and plates and move it off the road and out of the way. And I don’t mean the breakdown lane.

Many times, I have been stuck in traffic (and later found out it was an accident) to see EMS coming through the traffic jam to get to the scene of the accident. Why? It should be accessing the highway from “other” side of the accident where there is minimal traffic and what is there is flowing. Yes, it is flowing against it, but people will move. The same is true for tow-trucks. Police should assess the accident and if it will take some time, they need to step in and coordinate with local law enforcement (and traffic engineers) to reestablish flow.

Establish detours quickly.

An interstate should not be shut down for hours due to a vehicle accident. I can create horrific scenarios in my head where it might happen, but it should be the exception. Any accident, specially one involving bodily injury, appears to create a valid reason for closing a road. Any suggestion that there might be another way to approach it is looked at with derision.

Why?

Is the fire department, police and other EMS functions so arrogant they don’t think there is any room for improvement, or do they look at any criticism as callous? I can remember my mother chiding me many years ago as I complained about the inefficiency of EMS. “Just be glad it is not you”, she would remind me in a shame-on-me tone. I would try to defend my comments with the societal benefit of a more efficient system, but she wouldn’t hear it.

This strikes me as similar to many other processes that government undertakes. Any suggestion as to improvement is just considered Monday morning quarterbacking. While this is a fun activity, many processes should be reviewed. They are archaic. In business, at least in some businesses, the proverbial “we’ve always done it that way” is a sure sign the process should be thoroughly reviewed. In government, it means it should never change and how dare anyone suggest a more efficient method might exist.

It makes no sense.

EMS is well insulated since its simple retort is: we are only concerned about peoples’ health and safety. If any attempt is made to suggest a different process, the kneejerk reaction is the potential threat to human life. Instead of hanging on to archaic processes and functions, it may be time to look at some alternatives. New ways of doing things may prove more efficient, less costly and improve quality, but if innovations and evaluations are not embraced, we are stuck with the same old ways. And, not only as it pertains to EMS.

Leadership must consider new ideas.

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Categorized as Policy

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