A major freeway outside of the Detroit area today was shut down because a motorist was hit changing a tire on the shoulder. The section of freeway shutdown was the stretch of I-696 that runs through Farmington Hills, Michigan. The news channels and radios stations covered the traffic problems and reported about the accident scene. A major story in any city.
So what does that have to do with extrication? In theory, a bunch. A firefighter I met through dive training this year posted a YouTube on his Facebook page this morning from the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. A simple, informative video with an important message. The video’s message is “when you need us, we have your back” with the question posed to the viewing public “do you have ours?” Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS, and Wrecker Operators in the video repeat the question, “do you have ours”? Well, that motorist that got hit, no one had his back. He was killed.
The man killed was Daniel Armitage of West Bloomfield Township. He joined the Ann Arbor Fire Department as a firefighter in September 1995. I did not know Daniel; I never had the honor to meet him. Daniel was not on duty at the time, but everyone should take this tragedy as a moment to do something positive. Post the Slow Down Move Over PSA video on your Facebook and encourage friends to do the same. Review all the information you have about roadway safety. Bookmark the Emergency Responder Safety Institute’s website respondersafety.com, and READ IT! On the freeway, we are our brother’s keeper. Keep everyone safe!