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Jill_Blake
04-30-2019, 05:46 AM
Situation: MC has a rollover accident on a residential street. The other car/driver (who ran a stop sign and T-boned the MC's car) left the scene without stopping. There is a witness: another driver on the same road.
MC climbs out of car with help of the witness. MC is ambulatory but is disoriented to time/place, slow to respond to questions, and has a wrist injury (closed fracture).
EMTs and police arrive.

Q's:
what it protocol for EMTs? Where do they do eval of the MC - sitting on sidewalk, or in back of ambulance? Do they bring her to the ER for further treatment? If so, at what point do the police talk with her?
who takes care of towing the car/cleanup of the street?
when/where do the police question the witness?
what is the procedure for looking for the hit-and-run driver/vehicle?

thanks,
JB

Auteur
04-30-2019, 06:07 AM
Good questions. Maybe somebody here worked as a paramedic or police officer and can answer.

Coddiwomple
04-30-2019, 06:13 AM
Situation: MC has a rollover accident on a residential street. The other car/driver (who ran a stop sign and T-boned the MC's car) left the scene without stopping. There is a witness: another driver on the same road.
MC climbs out of car with help of the witness. MC is ambulatory but is disoriented to time/place, slow to respond to questions, and has a wrist injury (closed fracture).
EMTs and police arrive.

Q's:
what it protocol for EMTs? Where do they do eval of the MC - sitting on sidewalk, or in back of ambulance?

Either one.

Do they bring her to the ER for further treatment?

They wonít know if she has a closed fracture. EMTs jobs are not to diagnose, but to treat and stablize the most life-threatening injuries. They will evaluate, in order: 1. Life threatening injuries. 2. Is there a mechanism of injury that can harm the patient hours down the road (a rollover counts. Safety belt? No safety belt? Driver's side inpact or not? How badly damaged is the car? Airbags deployed? They'll ask.) After evaluating these factors along with her mental state, they'll determine if an immediate transport is necessary.

If so, at what point do the police talk with her?

If the patient is alert and orientated, sometimes the police will question the patient at initial scene. If itís a medical emergency, the police will not delay transport and will ask questions once the patient is stable at the hospital.


who takes care of towing the car/cleanup of the street?

Most trucks drivers scan police bands and will arrive on scene. If more than one shows up, the first one gets it. Clean up is either fire department (if hazardous material is involved), rarely police, never EMTs or medics.

when/where do the police question the witness?

Police usually question withesses on scene, if the witness is not the patient.

what is the procedure for looking for the hit-and-run driver/vehicle?

Police take statements, talk to witnesses, and throw out an APB.

thanks,
JB

Source: my husband, EMT and EMS logistics manager

cornflake
04-30-2019, 06:42 AM
Situation: MC has a rollover accident on a residential street. The other car/driver (who ran a stop sign and T-boned the MC's car) left the scene without stopping. There is a witness: another driver on the same road.
MC climbs out of car with help of the witness. MC is ambulatory but is disoriented to time/place, slow to respond to questions, and has a wrist injury (closed fracture).
EMTs and police arrive.

Q's:
what it protocol for EMTs? Where do they do eval of the MC - sitting on sidewalk, or in back of ambulance? If she's wandering around the street, or sitting on a curb or whatever, they'll probably start there. Paramedics aren't moving someone until they know what's going on. They want you to just stop, so they can assess. Even if someone is walking, doesn't mean they're not injured more than shows right then. They'd likely (not an EMT, sorry), assess her and then load her into the ambulance themselves, esp if it's a bad wreck they don't know what could be going on internally.

Do they bring her to the ER for further treatment? If she's got a possible closed head injury an other things, heck yeah.

If so, at what point do the police talk with her? They might try but if she's clearly addled they'll come back to her later.

who takes care of towing the car/cleanup of the street? Cops can call a tow, municipal or otherwise, likely.

when/where do the police question the witness? There.

what is the procedure for looking for the hit-and-run driver/vehicle? Depends on the department, the area, how serious it turns out to be... they'll look at the evidence on the car, can ask for/look for video evidence, can put out something to the media, signage (seems a lot for this), checking around body shops, etc.

thanks,
JB

Hope that helps.

WeaselFire
04-30-2019, 08:20 AM
who takes care of towing the car/cleanup of the street?

Most departments have tow operators on rotation. Next in rotation gets called. Rare now days for competing tow truck drivers, though some still exist. In most jurisdictions, if you're not the one called to the scene, police will deny your place in rotation or even take you out of rotation. Unless you're called by the owner/driver of the vehicle.

Tow trucks are responsible for cleanup except chemical spills. Damage to roadway or signage is the responsibility of whoever maintains the road/sign/etc. Idea is to get road open to traffic as soon as safely possible unless there's a death investigation.

For your other questions, most of the answers depend on the situation, which depends on what you need for your story. Police will begin looking for a hit and run driver as soon as they get reliable information on what to look for. If witnessed, that usually means quite soon after they arrive and talk to witnesses. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal charge throughout the US.

Jeff

Jill_Blake
04-30-2019, 08:38 AM
Thank you, Coddiwomple, Cornflake, and Jeff. This is very helpful!

jclarkdawe
05-01-2019, 03:14 AM
Realize that there is a wide difference in how specific departments handle things. For instance, the fire department I was on usually did the clean up, because we had more people than the tow operator.

Patient who is moving around but is disoriented and slow to respond means that the EMT might be willing to say the spine is undamaged, but will strongly suspect a concussion and maybe more internal injuries. Patient would be immediately sat on the ground and head/neck stabilization would be applied (hands held on either side of the head so that the patient cannot move head/neck). Then a brace and a backboard would be applied. The EMT's job is to make sure no further damage happens. During this process, a quick evaluation of the patient would be done. We'd also look at the vehicle to see what clues are available there such as the airbags that went off, dents and dings caused by the occupant, et cetera.

Then the patient would be loaded onto the ambulance, and a secondary evaluation would be done, probably en route to the hospital. Patient would not be given an option of refusing medical aid in this circumstance. Police would not talk to the patient, as patient is not clearly competent.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Police would secure physical evidence at the scene, after traffic control needs are met. Lots and lots of photographs would be taken. They'd also be talking to the witness.

lonestarlibrarian
05-01-2019, 07:39 PM
Once upon a time, I stopped at a four-way intersection and then made a right-hand turn on red. Glancing behind me, I saw in my rearview mirror one car trying to make a turn, and another car hitting it. I pulled over, but out of everyone who had been at the intersection, I was the only person apart from the actual people in the collision who checked to make sure the people were okay, or who waited around for the police. I was tempted to keep driving, too, because I was trying to get to church on time 200 miles away... but I figured if I was late, God would understand. ;)

One of the people in the accident tried talking to me in a friendly way. I suppose they wanted to get on my good side? Or perhaps they were just making conversation. It didn't really matter. The other person stuck by their car.

When the police got there, they figured out who was driving what. When they found out I was the witness, one of them walked with me out of earshot of the other people, and asked me what happened. I didn't see anything directly, because it was all backwards/behind me/in the mirror. I couldn't tell who was coming from what direction, but I could at least tell them that the light was red, going from one particular direction, about two or three seconds before the crash happened.

He looked at my DL. I don't think he ran it; he might have. He asked for my contact information. I went on my way; I'd lost about 20 minutes out of my trip, but I still made it to church on time. ;) I never heard anything else again.

On a related note, a few years earlier, I had been driving down a road in a different city, going from my summer job to my summer class. Someone who was (actually, legally) half-blind didn't see me, and made a U-turn right into my driver's side door panels. We exchanged insurance information, but I didn't have a cellphone, and I didn't want to be late for class, and it was my first accident, so I didn't even think about filing a police report. A few days later, I was walking to lunch, and someone who worked in one of the office buildings said, "Hey, I saw your accident the other day." "Oh? Why didn't you stop by?" "Oh, I didn't want to get involved."

So--- there might be 10 or 20 people who see something, but maybe only one person might stop and help, if you're lucky.

cmhbob
05-01-2019, 08:58 PM
In the places I've lived, law enforcement keeps a list of tow companies, and they call them in sequence, moving down the list for each crash/call. This assumes that the driver is not capable of indicating a preference for tow services.

When I lived in central Ohio, a rollover crash would have been dispatched both fire and PD. City fire would have responded with a rescue truck, engine, and paramedics, and possibly an EMS supervisor. First on the scene might have canceled the rescue once they found the driver was out of the car. The engine might have stayed to block traffic, depending on call volume and traffic on the street. It would not be unusual for them to spread some cat litter-type absorbent on the fluid spills.

Locally, the wrecker crews do a lot of the clean-up.

Jill_Blake
05-05-2019, 11:10 PM
Thanks, Jim, cmhbob - I appreciate the detailed info!
Thanks, Lonestarlibrarian, for sharing your personal experiences on the topic.
-jill

Barbara R.
05-06-2019, 05:14 PM
Pretty sure it varies from place to place. On L.I., where I live, the EMTs do the first evaluation on the spot, then transfer the injured person to an ambulance, then do a second eval and make a determination as to which hospital to go to: the local one if it's minor, a major trauma center if it's not. The patient can refuse to go to any hospital if she feels it's not necessary. The police take care of towing disabled vehicles. If it's a hit-and-run, I've got to believe the police will interview the victim at the earliest possible moment---just makes sense, doesn't it?

Can't say what the police procedures would be at that stage. But IMO you should be checking with the emergency response and police authorities wherever your story is set, since procedures vary.

Larry M
05-06-2019, 06:33 PM
My experience, for what it's worth:

A year ago this week, I was rear-ended while at a red light, clearly the other guy's fault. EMTs showed up before the police. I didn't call them; in fact, when I called the police to report the accident, the dispatcher asked me if I needed EMTs and I said no, but they showed up anyway. They asked me if I was hurt and when I said I was a little sore, but not hurt, they suggested I let them take me into the ambulance to check vitals and to be sure. After a brief examination, they decided I was okay, and let me get out. They waited until the police arrived, spoke briefly with them, and left.

The police asked a few question of me and the other guy. As mentioned, it was obvious what happened and who was at fault. They wrote two tickets to the other guy, gave me information on how to obtain the accident report online, and we all left.

I went to see a doctor later that day. I was advised by friends and family that sometimes accident injuries are not immediately apparent, and if I didn't see a doctor, and there was some injury, the insurance company would not pay for it. Other than a sore back and arm, I was okay.

Although it didn't at first look like too much damage to my truck, as soon as I started driving away, I knew there was a major problem. A week later, the repair shop and the insurance company declared the truck a total loss - the impact had bent the truck's frame.