Then, you drive a little farther along the road and see that same deputy stopped with the lights and siren off — or maybe driving back toward you.
Have you thought, well, “What was the emergency?”
Well, the deputy was probably called to back up another law enforcement officer. While en route to a possible emergency, the first deputy or police officer on the scene often radios and explains that back-up is not needed after all.
In an emergency every second counts.
Vehicles which have crashed sometimes seem innocent enough, but may explode into a fireball with people still inside.
Such was the case two times this week alone in separate incidents. Travelers on Interstate 75 experienced mechanical problems and both involved fires which could have caused injury or death.
Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies were first to arrive on scene and shut down travel as firefighters raced their way to the area.
Also, one of our deputies just happened upon a crash where the driver was thrown from the vehicle, and was lying face down in water, unconscious. The deputy acted quickly, resulting in a life saved.
That life-threatening event occurred a few years ago.
BCSO deputies are usually the first on the scene of emergencies on our county and state roads. They are there to secure the scene, administer first aid, and/or to move people out of harm’s way.
If they are the first on the scene, they do this, until our very excellent other first responders including medical, firefighters and rescue personnel arrive to do their work.
People react differently to the siren and lights of emergency vehicles.
Some drivers have been known to glance up in their rearview mirror, see the emergency lights and hear the sirens, then panic and slam hard on the brakes.
Others have pulled hard off the roadway, creating dangerous situations, or crashes.
When you hear the siren, look around for the direction the emergency vehicle is headed and quickly and safely move to the right of the roadway if possible. When on a four-lane highway and you are in the left lane, it might be safer to move toward the median to edge out of the way.
Just turn on your left turn signal on and safely head that way.
There are times an emergency vehicle will approach an intersection with heavy traffic where there is no way to advance through the congested area.
The driver of the emergency vehicle is trained to drive in these situations, so try to determine which lane the emergency driver is trying to clear.
You will then need to crowd as far to the left or right as is safely possible. The driver may blow the vehicle’s horn, while the siren and lights are still going, but don’t panic, the driver is letting you know where the vehicle is coming from and the direction it is headed.
Remember, if you need emergency personnel and law enforcement, ambulance, fire, or rescue people are making their way to you.
You certainly want them there in a hurry!
All of us can sharpen our driving skills by driving defensively and by being courteous to other drivers and pedestrians.
Driving is serious business and we all must stay alert.
That means putting the cell phone down.
We have had 17 traffic deaths in Bradley County this year, some of which can be attributed to driving under the influence, or to a lack of alertness on the part of drivers, or just plain speeding. Please drive safely, and thank you residents and drivers for your cooperation as we work for a safer Bradley County.