Crash Responder Safety Week comes to a close with a crucial message

RAPID CITY, S.D. — November 8-14 is Crash Responder Safety Week, serving as a reminder to slow down and use caution when you see first responders working on scene.

Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, three ambulances from Rapid City, and Highway Patrol responded to the scene of a crash on Highway 16 near Reptile Gardens Saturday, and responders discussed how the public can help keep them safe in these scenarios.

Chief Gail Schmidt, Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, suggests eliminating distractions and slowing down.

“If you come up on an accident scene, put down the cell phone, I don’t need people videoing, taking photos, we need you to pay attention and drive,” she says. 

First responders are killed nearly every week while helping clear a roadway crash, and many more are injured. The majority of these incidents could be easily avoided by driving without distractions and following directions.

“Do what we’re asking you to do, we usually have responders set up, cones set up, and we’ll get you through the scene as safely and as quickly as possible,” Schmidt explains.

50,000 responders nationwide work on roads each day to clear accidents and assist those in need of help. By paying extra attention when you see flashing lights, you can be of assistance too.

“The best you can do to help us is just literally kind of monitor what’s going on, follow the cones, follow the signs, follow the flaggers,” adds Schmidt.

Slowing your speed and avoiding distractions can go a long way in making sure that you are protecting the safety of those who protect yours.

“Just make it through the crash scene, so you can go on with your day and we can all go home that day.”

Categories: Local News