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Who has been a civilian first responder to accident, fire, fight, crime & took action?

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posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 06:34 PM
I was watching Live Pd along with some of the British counterpart TV shows and on occasion bystanders react to incidents or accidents to help people who are in serious danger like helping people out of burning cars, buildings, smashed cars or maybe stopping or breaking up fights.

I've found myself in this situation 3 different times from my early 20's until early 30's with the worst while being on vacation in a Caribbean Island country where someone (a car full of license-less native Island drivers running a red light and t-boning another car with an American tourist. I was the first car at the intersection and saw it all unfold. The car that got hit rolled 4-5 times, and threw the driver out of the car, and rolled over him (while he hung out the window w/ seat belt holding him in place and after the final role, he was flung from the vehicle with the car coming to rest on it side, pinning the guy completely underneath it). The tourist driver (who had right of way) was covered in blood, groaning and crying in pain as the car crushed him.

The 4 of us in the car were totally stunned, in shock, and I immediately got out of the car, took picks/video of the offender driver (they ended up being very drunk, underage & had no licenses) and they ran from the scene while leaking massive amounts of coolant, water, etc as they ran from the scene.

My uncle and I ran to the car with the hurt driver and quickly assed the situation. He was pinned between a 8-10" high curb and the side of the car, crushing him. Others (natives of the island) came up to the car and we lifted the car off the injured person - & we rolled the car off of him while other bystanders stood by and watched, many recording on their phones.
The Island police showed up within 30-60 seconds and an ambulance about a minute later. There are very few times I've ever been so shaky and "unsettled" as this, the only other times were immediately before or after a street fight - where you get that fight-or-flight response, then the huge adrenaline dump - followed by the shaky comedown and feeling of stomach pain/ feeling nauseated, and mentally thinking WTF just happened.

After giving statements to the police were were allowed to leave and I felt sick to my stomach for at least an hour, and then I was worried when I heard the victim was alone on the island (he's from the States) and was in the ICU. That must be very scary for him and I contemplated going to the hospital to see him and give him my contact info, but it was already 1:30am and I had to leave at 7am the next morning for my flight.

I know the police followed the trail of coolant to where the perpetrators ran to and caught all 5 of the drunk/high islanders which was a good thing.

The first time something like this happened I was a year out of college and watched a car pulled over in front of my fraternity being pulled over. He decided to run, hit 4 cars on the way, tried to make a 90 degree right hand turn and crashed into a brick building doing about 80-90mph. Dude was extremely drunk (.31-.35 - blood vs breathalyzer. When the car took off from in front of my house, I hoped into my car and followed to see what would happen (Staying well back). I had to help a car of 4 students the got hit, spun around and all 4 doors were smashed with lots of fluid leaking from under the car (we didn't know if it was gas or coolant, there was more damage to the rear wheels & gas tank area from hitting the curb & concrete pylon). I helped pull them our of the broken windows while the 3-4 other police cars continued pursuit of the DUI/runner. I got the same feeling of being nauseated/ really shaky, and thought I was going to throw up afterwards.

Are those normal physiological effects of high intensity encounters - probably from an adrenaline dump? Each time I got really depressed about 1 hour afterwards, in tears after the first incident above, and lots of contemplation/re-evaluation after the second above incident.

What is odd is after the 2 fights I was in, afterwards I felt better than I had ever in my life (much like how Fight Club describes it). It was like a high better than anything I could ever describe, even though I was slightly injured (bruised) but I had no depression, upset stomach or anything.

I'm wondering how many of you on here have ever been in any situations like this, where you had to act to help someone, possibly putting yourself in danger at the same time. Did you have strong emotions afterwards? Depression, worry, etc? If you ever got in a fight, did you feel euphoric afterwards (unless you got your aszz beat I guess, IDK if you get that feeling even if that happens).

I can understand how officers who are in high speed pursuit, where the fleeing person puts bystanders (and pursuing officers) in extreme danger, can over-react once they catch up. They are fighting the biological response of the adrenaline dump, which will usually lead to pummeling the individual (just look at mob violence/reactions). It takes a lot of self restraint to not cross the line, and sometimes the situation is so extreme that it is basically impossible to not take it out on the person "fleeing".

Another was a hit & run where a guy hit my girlfriend's new car outside a bar & took off. 3 of us standing near by yelled at him to stop but he floored it to get out of there. We all chased him about 1/3 mile in full spring until we caught him at a really sharp turn where he basically had to stop to make the turn. He drug him out of the car as he tried to use his vehicle to run us over! That was the scariest incident of them all, b/c had it only been one of us, I think he would have run the person over. Thankfully we got it under control. With age, we know better now and would leave it to police/insurance, but at the time we were pretty upset b/c the guy had been a problem all night.

I'm interested in hearing any stories you all might have.

edit on 2 24 2019 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Back in winter of 2000 in the evening, I was driving down Harwood avenue approaching the 401 and saw what looked like a big black garbage bag in the road, so I changed lanes to avoid it and then noticed it wasn't a bag, it was a body in a dark winter coat. It turned out it was an old lady who had tried to cross the road. She apparently had been hit by a vehicle now parked on the bridge over the 401. The driver was a young girl, freaked out and crying. I called the police and ambulance first, put on the 4ways on and parked the car behind her blocking the lane. Then I got some blankets from the car (I always carry at least one) I covered her as best I could, checked vitals and sat down with her until the Emerg services arrived. They took her to Ajax hospital, cops took my statement. The girl that hit her was still freaked out and a second ambulance took her to the hospital as she was kind of hysterical.

I got a call the next day from her daughter thanking me for being so quick to react, making her mother comfortable and sitting with her.

Another time in africa, Angola border, we came across two tortured and dead soldiers. We didn't wait for a reaction team, it ended bloody, don't need to go into details.

You do what you can do and if you can't do anything, call someone who can, right?

Cheers - Dave

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 07:36 PM
I’m 19 years into my career as a Firefighter in a big city. The adrenaline dump is the same for anything that triggers that response. I have always been good at controlling that in dangerous situations even as a rookie. I have had many talks with rookies about getting to amped up. They run when the fire tone goes off, scream & yell, and blow their wad before it’s under control.

I have let it get me on other things. One that comes to mind was a guy screaming at his wife after a wreck. As she sat in pain he was jerking the car around and working on it while we waited for the ambulance. I lost it! I ate his butt out and told him if he touched the car or cussed her again, he wasn’t going to like me very much. Blood was pounding in my ears , breathing was fast, and I was shaking all over wanting to tear him apart. So, yes it does happen.

My wife works at a children’s hospital and asked me about this same type of thing. I said that if you know your stuff (which she does!!) you need to stay in control to give that person the best you. If something “bad” happens I want to be there to give my all and give them the greatest opportunity to survive. You can cry and throw up afterwords.
I’m not cocky and I’m not the best, but I’ve worked with the best and do everything in my power to be better.

That’s pretty rare to be caught up in so many situations like that. Sounds like you handled it well. Maybe you should become a fireman! Lol! We love the black cloud probies. For a while anyway

I don’t know if I can answer any questions, but I’ll check back in and try if you got any.

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 08:28 PM
a reply to: TexasTruth

Some people work best under stress.

Yes, it takes a huge toll on your body and mind.

I can work for 48 plus hours, without sleep, food, or even taking a bathroom break. When the crisis is over and I make it home, it still takes several hours for me to come down, then I can sleep for darn near 24 hours before I even turn over.

I have done this for over 40 years. The fatigue seems to take longer to spring back from than it did when I was younger. I still believe mental stress is much harder on the body than physical stress, and physical stress is much healthier.

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 09:07 PM
I have been a first responder on many (more than I care to remember) scenes. Being a certified first responder in both CPR and advanced first aid, the key is staying calm and assessing the situation first.

One of the oddest ones was while I was driving on the highway, in the passing lane with a car full of folks in front of me. A moving van (rented U-Haul type) sped past me driving erratically. As it passed, it swerved left into the car in front of me....sideswiped it so hard the passenger door RIPPED off it's hinges and flew up and over the rear of the car. It landed directly in front of me on the road. With traffic to my right and the barrier to my left, my only option was to drive over the door in the road!

As I did this I saw the car in front begin to rapidly slow down (those brake lights looked as large as the car in my eyes at that moment. With less than a second to react, I glanced right to see no cars and swerved right past the car (and the woman in the passenger seat hanging out the opening where the door had been). I pulled ahead and swerved back left into the lane in front of them then screeched to a stop myself.

I exited my vehicle and ran to the car behind me. All the traffic had now stopped on the road in every lane. I ran to the passenger side to see a woman in her 60's hanging out of the opening, freaking out screaming. I approached telling her my first name and that I was driving behind them, saw everything, and was a first responder. I calmed the woman enough to ask if she was hurt. There were no visible signs of injury (thank goodness) but she was now hyperventilating.

I told her to pull the neckline of her shirt up and over her nose and try to breath deeply. This is the substitute for a paper bag to ease the hyperventilating. She began to calm and I checked with the other women in the car to see if they were hurt or otherwise injured. To ease their minds I told them her friend was going to be OK, and that there were no other cars involved. The important part was they were all safe, and I congratulated the driver on keeping calm and not swerving when it happened. Positive reinforcement at that point helped calm her down and reassure her she did the right thing. They asked about my car....which, honestly, I had not even thought about at the time. Jokingly I said, "if I'm lucky it will get totaled and I can get a new one finally. And...sorry about running over your door..." That helped break some of the tension in the car and even the hyperventilating woman chuckled.

Another driver approached the car with her cell phone and was talking to the 911 operator. I got on the phone and described the scene and explained what was going on at the time. She told me emergency services were on the way, and to stay on the line until they arrived. With that, I more formally introduced myself to the occupants of the car and got their names. We chatted about where they were going and if anyone was expecting them, if they needed to call someone, etc...

Once the emergency services arrived, I gave my statement, described the van, and was told by police that another witness (a driver) followed them and forced them to pull over a few miles ahead. They had that man in custody, which helped calm the car passengers even more. I offered the police my contact information and was told I was free to leave if I wished. I asked the ladies in the car if they felt OK for me to leave. At which time I left them and went to inspect my car.

Well, oddly enough the car seemed fine, with the exception of the front lower spoiler being torn off on the side where my tire ran over the door. Otherwise, it was fine....go figure.

Being both a participant in the accident and a first responder really tested my personal ability to stay calm in a stressful situation. I felt good about the fact that I didn't have to apply any medical emergency treatment to anyone, as I have had to do in other situations.

After a few minutes of just relaxing in the car as the adrenaline subsided, and I felt ready to drive again, I drove off and never heard from them or the police again.

edit on 2/24/2019 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 10:16 PM
These are some interesting stories! Well I'm glad to hear (in an odd way) that others have had similar incidents with same psychological responses. I can say in most cases it seems like times slows down and reaction times are MUCH faster along with thinking. I'm lucky that panic has never been something that happens to me in my previous situations, but most of them I had a fair idea of what to do.

There were a few cases where fires got out of control within a couple seconds, one inside (grease fire) and another where a fuel line connection broke in an oil forge. There was a second or two of panic while I analyzed the situation, then realized if I panicked I'd probably make it worse and hurt myself. I do get shaky when dealing with an unknown and then a little flustered afterwards when I realize how bad it could have been.

I was once driving behind my girlfriend in the passing lane when the person in the right lane decided to pull into our lane, pushing my GF off into the wet, grassy median doing 75-80, getting almost completely sideways in an SUV that was top heavy. My stomach felt like it dropped down to my knees as I was helpless to do anything but watch and expected her to roll 10+ times at that speed. By some lucky chance, she regained control of the vehicle and straightened it out. I almost had a heart attack while it was happening. Of course, somehow she thought it was my fault, still don't see how that could have been, but I was just glad she was alright.

I do find it really odd when I see people paralyzed in situations like this, just watching while people need help. IDK if it is b/c they don't know what to do, even though it seems obvious in many situations, or if they just don't care to help (either don't want to put themselves at risk or just plain don't care..).

I also had a roommate who self-injured (a bad attempt while depressed) and cut themselves very badly and I found them. My other roommate and I rushed him to the hospital where I was later thrown on the floor and cuffed by a cop b/c I asked too many times (2x in 3.5 hours) about the status of my friend - nurses called police b/c I demanded to know his status. The police accused me of stabbing him, luckily I had 4 witnesses (5 including my friend/roommate) who said I was the one who found him and helped. That really messed me up bc the cops were going to take me to booking if I didn't leave the hospital immediately (45 minute cab ride at 4am) . Totally odd b/c I wasn't drunk, belligerent, or anything. Just very concerned for my best friend.
edit on 2 24 2019 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 10:55 PM
Wow, these stories all had me at the edge of my seat.

I remember when I was hit as a pedestrian by a mini van. There was one woman who covered me with a sweater, held my hand and talked to me in a soothing voice the entire time until the ambulance arrived. I could hear other voices speaking and trying to keep my clam as well. I ended up with a broken leg, severe contusions and nerve damage.

For all of you heroes out there who have saved lives and those of you who have helped to keep an injured person calm, kudos and a big hug!
edit on 24-2-2019 by Night Star because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 11:19 PM
Ow! Sorry to hear that. The people that do that, like stopping and holding hands or calling loved ones for them are the salt of the earth types. I always feel bad when they stop by and want to know the outcome. We rarely know. After we leave the scene or hospital (critical care we go to help medics), it’s over for us and we are out of the loop.
If we call back and really dig we can find out, but most of the time it’s different people working at the hospital.

a reply to: Night Star

posted on Feb, 24 2019 @ 11:33 PM
a reply to: TexasTruth

Yeah HUGE ow! LOL

Thank you TexasTruth for all that you do for people and everyone who has shared their story in here of helping in whatever capacity they have helped.

posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 12:04 AM
This one actually happened one night while out cruising with friends. It was about 1:00am as we were driving down the highway, when we turned a bend to see an SUV on the side of the road with the engine on fire. There were no emergency vehicles on scene at all, and cars were just driving past it....not even hitting their brakes. As I wasn't driving, I shouted to my buddy driving to pull over ahead of the vehicle about 50 ft or so (a safe distance).

We got out of the car and looked around for the owner or perhaps others (i.e. victims) down the embankment....there was nobody. My first thought was they are trapped inside! I started walking toward the vehicle, with my buddies yelling to me to get away before it explodes. I turned back to them and yelled, "THERE MIGHT BE SOMEONE INSIDE. I AT LEAST HAVE TO CHECK!!"

As I approached the engine fire was now flaming up about 20 ft, and closer to the windshield than when we arrived. That meant is was indeed spreading toward the passenger compartment. I got up to the driver's side, and cautiously raised my hand up to the window, palm forward feeling for heat. Slowly, I moved it closer to the glass, hoping it was not hot to the touch (which would mean the inside was not on fire yet). The window was blackened, and I could not see inside due to the smoke filling the compartment. I couldn't even see any light filtering through the windshield, so it was very thick. I touched the window with my palm and it was warm but not hot. I reached for the door handle and unlatched it, and sloooooowly cracked open the door just a bit (I didn't want to risk a backdraft effect explosion).

As the door opened more, smoke began to escape, black heavy smoke. I shouted into the vehicle, "Is anyone there?!? Make any sound at all!!! Bang on the seat if you can hear me!!". Nothing.....silence. All I could hear was the crackling of the engine fire and the muffled sounds of my buddies still yelling for me to get out of there. I reached into the black smoky void to touch the drivers seat...nobody there. I tripped the seat release to get to the back seat, took a few deep breaths and exhaled, repeating that to build up oxygen in my lungs (an old snorkel diving trick) and held the last big breath then stuck my upper body into the back seat. I could now feel around the back and found nobody there. I found a long handled window scraper on the floor of the back, so I grabbed that to check the passenger side back seat for someone, and found nothing. I used that same scraper to also check the front passenger seat without needing to go around the other side where there was more fire.

I realized there was nobody in the vehicle....thank goodness. So I left the scraper across the front seat, closed the door and ran the hell back to our stopped car. When I got there my buddies were yelling at me that I was a stupid idiot doing that, and it was obvious there was nobody in there at the start. My only response was, "I had to be sure. If there was and I did nothing, I couldn't live knowing I could have helped and someone died." To which I was again told I was a "crazy bastard".

We stayed there, and used a flashlight to direct traffic to the other side of the road away from the fire, until a police cruiser arrived. I explained the situation, told him what I did. He thanked me for stopping and trying to help, but that the fire dept was on the way and we could leave for our own safety.

I'm just glad there was nobody hurt or otherwise in that vehicle. Was it stupid for me to do that, perhaps. But, as I said, I don't think I could sleep that night let alone forgive myself if I found out someone was alive in there and overcome with smoke, and I did not check or help at all. I'm no hero, and not looking to get kudos or whatever. I only mention these stories as a way of saying that there are people who care and will help folks they do not know....even if they are a conservative leaning on the political spectrum

edit on 2/25/2019 by Krakatoa because: fixed spelling errors

posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 03:32 AM
About 10 years back, I was a 3rd year apprentice with the union headed to work at 6AM. There was an 18 wheeler parked in the opposite lane with flashers on, a wrecked pickup in my lane, and one off to the side of the road. The trucker was stopping traffic....I was the first not involved in the crash on scene.

I got to the truck at the side of the road first. The driver was trying to find his lighter, I let him use mine. He then tried to get out of his truck so he could punch the driver of the pickup in the middle of the road. I talked with him and calmed him down. The thing is, he was so f'd up that I didn't recognize him...he was my journeyman at the last job I was at.

At that point in time, another person who was on the scene yelled for help, the other truck was on fire and the driver was pinned. I ran over to try and help. There were 5 of us trying to get into the truck.

Mind you, we are 15 minutes from the nearest volunteer department.

The kid was already dead and the flames were creeping to the gas tank. We used well over 15 fire extinguishers controlling the flames until the professionals arrived and took over.

I will never forget the smell of a person burning.

After giving my statement, I headed of to work. I was then jittery. I realized just how calm I had been. Even weirder is the fact that the foreman on the job had been an apprentice with the guy who I first went to.

The key is to stay calm. And ALWAYS give the victim your first their friend.

posted on Feb, 25 2019 @ 07:13 AM
I have twice and luckily no one was seriously hurt both times.
The 1st time a woman had swerved to miss a deer. When she swerved her car spun all the way around backwards and hit someone else in the oncoming lane. A man was driving the car that hit her in the oncoming lane. He hit her hard enough that his steering wheel was bent towards the dash and he busted his windshield with his head and he was covered in blood and was in a lot of pain.

The doors wouldn't open on his car so I grabbed a big iron pry bar off my truck and pried the door open.

I have no idea on this earth how she wound up like she was in that car but I was afraid to try and mover her.
Her head had completely disappeared into the back seat in between the bottom cushion and the back cushion.
She was stuck and could not get out on her own. She could talk to me in a muffled tone but that's all.
As the traffic built up someone who was a paramedic showed up and took that scene over thankfully.

Another instance my brother and I were coming out of Kingston Tennessee hauling heavy equipment South on I- 75 and I like to call them lane switchers because that's exactly what they do. There was this lady in a small SUV going from one lane to the next. When she saw a space available she jumped in it. She had gotten a good ways past us when she clipped the left bumper of a yellow Peterbilt pulling a fuel tanker.

She first skidded all they way nose right, then trying to gain control she skidded back around nose left. Then she skidded back to nose right and started rolling down the gaurd rail. When the car came to rest she was upside down on the gaurd rail.
Luckily for her she had her seat belt on and was hanging upside down in the vehicle instead of being thrown out.
My brother unfastened her seat belt and got her out gently. She stood to her feet shaken up a bit but was ok.

People don't realize how quick lane switching and clipping someones front bumper can be the end of the line. Its like pulling the police pit maneuver on yourself.

I once was about a mile behind a guy that went over a 15 ft wall to his death because of lane switching. The barrier he went over was about a 3.5 ft which seems impossible to go over but once you get turned sideways and roll its very easy to do.
I see folks almost daily jump in inches from my front bumper not realizing the danger they place themselves in.

edit on 25-2-2019 by Trucker1 because: (no reason given)

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