#Emergency Vehicles Need More Road Respect

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It was a week ago this past Sunday morning that I had to call 911 for an ambulance.

 

I thought my husband was dead.

 

After a previous hospital visit and a procedure that followed in another hospital after his release, something went wrong. A few days after that procedure, my husband began to hemorrhage uncontrollably. He suddenly became a ghost shade of white and was unresponsive. He needed blood.

 

ambulance

The paramedics arrived within a few short minutes. They were thorough, and compassionate. After clearing a path for the gurney by moving around some furniture and checking his vitals, they got him safely in the ambulance. The fear that arose inside me was insurmountable while I reflected on his ongoing illness over the past few weeks, trying to make some sense out of what on earth was going on.

Besides getting a first-hand experience at what our Canadian health system has been reduced to in the past month, I had my first experience sitting up front in an ambulance. This was certainly a different perspective for me than my own prior illnesses in the past where I was the patient in the back.

While the paramedics were taking good care of my husband, I kept my eyes focused on the road. I know this city is full of bad drivers, but I’d witnessed some particular bad drivers when it came to obeying the laws of the road when emergency vehicles are trying to pass.

I shook my head in disbelief as a few cars didn’t pull over to the right as the siren sounded and we were approaching the cars, which were slowing us down. But the most unbelievable sight was a car that pulled out from a plaza approximately 100 feet in front of us as we were nearing the plaza exit. We had to brake for him while he held up our lane. Not only did he cut us off with his turn to merge into our southbound lane, but he stopped completely, with his car sitting in a diagonal pattern, blocking our lane while waiting to fit into the left turn lane,

I couldn’t get over the fact that the ambulance couldn’t drive in a clear path, nonstop with a siren on. He had to brake at every intersection and stop sign with a loud sounding warning siren, because whether there were oncoming cars or not, he couldn’t assume that people would stop or wouldn’t try and run a red light.

I commented to the driver as he skillfully adjusted to the bad drivers. I told him that what I had witnessed in a 7 minute run to the hospital was horrendous, and that I felt for him as a driver who had to deal with this mayhem every day, several times a day. In those moments, I was grateful that my husband wasn’t dying, but couldn’t help but think about the thousands of patients who get delayed by extra moments it takes to get to a hospital because of ignorant drivers. For many patients, an extra minute could be the difference between life and death.

Please share this. And if you aren’t familiar with emergency protocol when driving, please take a few minutes to go over the rules of the road concerning emergency vehicles, and remind your loved ones to do the same.

 

DGKayeΒ©2016

 

76 thoughts on “#Emergency Vehicles Need More Road Respect

    1. Thanks again Marje. He’s back home again, but has quite a ways to go. Still a lot of unanswered questions and tests to go through. It’s a full time job, and my first priority. I am learning patience. ❀

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    1. Thanks Sue. Every day is a new day, with quite a ways to go with ongoing tests and doctor appointments. Waiting for answers is the hard part. But I’m learning to live one day at a time. A very hard thing for me to do, but worry isn’t going to solve anything except take me down. ❀

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      1. I know that feeling well Sue. That is very kind of you. But just having friends here to mingle with is a Godsend in a sometimes feeling isolated world. πŸ™‚ xo

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  1. It’s true all across America as well. Self-centered, self-important people care only for themselves and their own rights on the road. Of course the reminder they seem not to hear is that it might be themselves or their own loved in that ambulance.

    Your husband will get better soon.

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    1. Thanks again John. I know the roads are filled with so many wreckless drivers everywhere. The sad part is it becomes a pattern for others to follow, which no doubt grows the chaos.

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  2. First and foremost, I am happy to read about the positive outcome for your husband and hope this is the last of this sort of adventure for both of you. But, about the drivers, it is astounding. When I pull over to let an ambulance pass I am also aghast at the number of drivers who pass me and don’t pull to the side at all! What are these people thinking and where are the cops when you need them? If this action resulted in a giant ticket/fine, people would stop. It shouldn’t take the threat of punishment to make people behave civilly, but, alas for some it does. I have one question for you people: Where the hell are you going that is more important than the life of the person inside that emergency vehicle?

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    1. Thanks Deb for your ongoing support and sharing your words of wisdom. It is truly astounding! We see it a lot, and until you or your loved on is in that ambulance, it becomes a frightening reality. I see so many bad driving habits on the road, it’s hard to imagine that so many of these people aren’t eventually caught and fined. People are sometimes so self absorbed that they unfortunately, don’t consider anyone else, until it becomes their turn. This is sad and must be changed. It seems like everything else, it’s up to ‘the people’ to shed light on such issues and spread awareness. πŸ™‚

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  3. I’m amazed that you could focus on road details when you thought your husband may be dead.However, I would probably do the same thinking clearance for the ambulance was the only path to his survival.

    Hope he is doing better now, Debby.

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    1. It’s really amazing what your mind goes through in a frightening crisis. With me, I’m all over the map. I’m a control freak and used to being in charge, so I’m somewhat a ‘backseat’ driver, eyes always everywhere.
      He’s back home now thanks, with quite a ways to go with ongoing tests and many doctor appointments, thanks. I am learning ‘one day at a time’. πŸ™‚

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  4. It never ceases to amaze me of the idiots on the roads these days, Debby. Nobody can fail to see, let along hear, an emergency vehicle and yet they still refuse to pull over or give way. Our emergency vehicles now have cameras fixed to them and drivers who obstruct them or refuse too pull over can be fined. The problem is unfortunately the fine is too low and people still do it.

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband having to be rushed into hospital but glad to read he’s now back at home. My hugs and best wishes to both of you.
    Take care.
    xx

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    1. Thanks as always Hugh for stopping by and leaving your wise words. I love that idea of cameras on emergency vehicles, but I’m gobsmacked that people still don’t care because the fine isn’t severe enough.
      They say the way to really hurt a guy is through the pocket, so maybe raising the fines will get their attention. It’s also unfortunate that for many, until they’re faced with a life and death situation, they don’t learn.
      Thanks for your well wishes. Hub is home, but has quite a ways to go still with more tests and doctors. My life has been altered quite a bit through this time; but I fight to stay positive and learning to take one day at a time, a hard lesson for me who wants to get as much done as I can every day. ❀

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      1. We have exactly the same problem with drivers who insist on using mobile phones while they are driving, Debby. The fine is only Β£60. Put it up to Β£1,000 and people would soon stop using them while driving.
        Hub has the best person at home with him. I wish him a quick recovery. I know you’re doing everything you can to ensure that happens. We are all here to support you and you know you only have to ask. We’ll listen and do whatever we can to help.
        Hugs,
        xx

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      2. Thanks again for your beautiful comment Hugh. Like I said to Sue, it is really an uplifting comfort to know I have so many wonderful friends here. Many of us live so far away from each other, but our community keeps us close, and I consider that a gift.
        I’m learning a lot about tolerance and patience right now, so at least I can take something from all of this. And I look forward to the day my hub recovers and all his medical mysteries are solved, so he’ll be well and I can get back to real life. In the meantime, I feel honoured to have you and so many other wonderful friend’s good wishes and support.
        And PS – the driving and texting is part of this awful road etiquette here too. And they have raised the fines to $1000 here because apparently, $200 wasn’t enough deterrent. And still, there’s always a few stragglers who defy the law. πŸ™‚ ❀

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  5. Wow unbelievable (!!!) and I praise God had His angles watching over you and your hubby is recovering, – I wouldn’t want to see a great team broken up. πŸ™‚ It’s a sad fact that lack of consideration for others is the coarseness of our world today. What a tough year you’re having! “But there’s got to be a pony in here some place!” Blessings,

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  6. So hard, Debby. I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’ve never been in the back of an ambulance. I rode in the front seat once with my husband on life support in the back. I was so impressed with the young driver. Even on rural roads, he never assumed anyone would stop. I had been up all night the night before, but I was wide awake for our ambulance adventure, partly because I’d just had to stand up to 4 or 5 white coated doctors who wanted to send Vic to a slightly closer hospital when I knew his best shot was to go to the hospital where he was receiving cancer treatment. It took 75 minutes to take what’s usually a 120 minute trip. The ambulance moved! Adrenaline soared.

    I’m glad your husband is home. I hope you have help. I hope there is some end in sight with all the doctor’s visits. They are exhausting for both of you. Suddenly, we see the world from the new perspective within the frustrating medical system–and Vic had the best doctors and care, but it’s still frustrating with so much waiting and uncertainty. It requires incredible vigilance and doesn’t leave much energy for ourselves. Sending you healing love and wishes for a quiet resolution to what sounds like a difficult and mysterious situation.

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    1. Hi Elaine. Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your own experience, and leaving your words of encouragement. I know all about the no energy, nor the inclination to concentrate on much else, least of all my writing.
      Waiting and wondering are painful, but as you know, we have to plow through, because we have been tagged; we’re it. It’s all me. I was grateful to have my sister keep me company while hub was in the hospital. You know those long days. There’s such a shortage of nursing staff now. Somebody has to be with a patient to take care of them, because they can wait over an hour for a nurse sometimes when pressing that button. Someone needs to advocate for them too.
      I’m happy to be that someone, as grueling as it can be. I just want him to get better and be ‘him’ again. Then I can focus on the chaos and backlog in my own life. Priorities. And I am coming to terms with the phrase, ‘one day at a time.’
      Thanks for the love and wishes. I feel so blessed to have some wonderful friends here where I spend much of my time. ❀

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  7. The behavior of some drivers is atrocious, and unfortunately there are some people who are incapable of empathy. They just don’t see it until they are in need of emergency care. How horrible and scary for you! I hope things are improving for your hubby (and for you, of course, too). One day at a time is right. I’ll be thinking of you.

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    1. Thanks so much Diana. Yes, something has to be done. It’s unfortunate that those who ignore the laws will one day find themselves in the same situation, but that doesn’t solve the current situation. Perhaps huge fines may hurt in the pocket, if their empathy isn’t enough. πŸ™‚

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      1. Well that is good to hear Diana. I know some places are worse than others. And my city just seems to be getting worse. One can only hope spreading awareness may enlighten others. πŸ™‚

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  8. I agree. I was brought up with a sense that nothing was mor eimportant than emergency vehicels. Now I see people either disinterested or unsure as to how to behave when the emergency services try to get through traffic.
    Hope the husband makes a quick recovery ❀

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  9. This horrendous. What are people turning into? They are so selfish that they can`t or won`t let an emergency vehicle through. I am sickened by their behaviour. I do hope your husband is okay now and sending love and prayers

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  10. Wow. That’s all I can say. This is when you want the police to be right there and slap that driver with a $10,000 fine for being such a stupid driver–along with making him take a driver’s test over again.

    I live in Nova Scotia–quiet and low population–compared to many other places in Canada. From my experience, drivers allow emergency vehicles to pass unimpeded, but I’m sure a paramedic driving an ambulance every day would have another story to tell.

    From my perspective–after being a driver for 32 years–I feel drivers are less experienced now than they were 20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of dumb (and dangerous) stuff on the road, and it’s amazing more people aren’t dead.

    Horrible drivers aside, I hope the doctors are able to pin point your husband’s illness and he is up and about soon.

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    1. You make a good point Diane. It’s good to hear you have better drivers on your side of the pond. I agree with less experienced drivers, and I’d swear that many just ‘bought’ their license somehow. Living in a big city with ongoing traffic and not enough roads doesn’t help. People are always in a hurry, and still on the phones and texting. It’s almost as though they live in a self absorbed world. I agree, heavy fines seem to be the only way to hurt a guy; in the pocket.
      Thanks for the well wishes. One day at a time, lots more tests, and awaiting all the results. I’m learning patience in a big way. πŸ™‚

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  11. Between this and the kids at risk because of drivers that don’t stop for school buses, it really makes you wonder what’s going on in people’s heads.
    I hope your husband is doing better. You must have been so frightened!

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    1. Thanks Linda. You said a mouthful. The rules of the road have seemed to vanish.
      Thanks for the well wishes. He’s home, but we still have a ways to go. All good wishes always welcome. ❀

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  12. How scary for you Debby. I’m so pleased that hubby is home.

    I think most ambulances nowadays have cameras for insurance purposes. If so, the video should be sent to the police and such a driver should be fined. ❀

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    1. Thanks Ralph. I’ve heard that from a blogger friend about cameras in the U.K. I’m not sure if they have them in Canada, but something to check out. Thanks for visiting and the well wishes.
      I hope you have FINALLY recovered. ❀ πŸ™‚

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      1. Thanks Debby. I do hope that I have recovered as I actually want to blog tonight. I hope it stays that way πŸ˜€ ❀

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  13. Ahhh Deb I am so sorry this is happening to you. I am praying for a quick healing and a miracle! I see it all the time. People are just so selfish or plainly clueless or hard of hearing. I want to pull them over myself. My dad was taken to the hospital after a heart attack and didn’t make it. Probably was gone before the paramedics got there, but I’ve always wondered if there was someone on the road that held them up that morning. I always pray for the ambulance and all the people in it now when ever one goes by. I know that this time is so difficult and I will be praying. I am sure you are journaling a lot lately. These times tend to poke the fires of feelings. I know a blessing will come from even this! I love you my friend!
    xoxo

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    1. Hello my sweet friend. It was lovely to see your pretty face drop by here. It seems you and I are kindred spirits, no doubt we go way back.
      I am grateful for your prayers and wishes. And not surprisingly, you and I have the same philosophy with ambulances – I’ve been doing that for years now, when an ambulance passes, I silently pray for the person being taken to hospital.
      You know very well how hard it can be to concentrate on writing and life when times are tough, but you are right; I may not be working on my book or putting up everything I write on my blog instantly, but yes, there are lots of scribbles going on. It’s what keeps me sane.
      Love you back dear friend! xoxox ❀

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  14. So glad you were safely strapped in and I have noticed many disrespectful drivers do the very same things. This is outrageous and although a few people say you shouldn’t say something like this, I will: “If you do such dangerous driving in front of an ambulance~ may you have bad karma haunt you.”

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    1. Thank you Robin. So much going on with tests and doctors now. I’m just piecing the puzzle together now and should have some definitive answers next week. You can be sure there will be a post about it. πŸ™‚

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  15. Oh wow. That’s scary. I’m glad he’s doing better. I wonder what the stats are on lives that could have been saved if it hadn’t been for traffic/poor driving the ambulance had to endure. Hang in there.

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    1. Thank you so much Mary for dropping by and leaving your kind words. He has a way to go, but the puzzle is slowly coming together. I’ll be sharing more this week. πŸ™‚

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  16. Hi Deb, I’m trying to get back on blogging track and wanted to come over and see how you and your hubby are doing. I was so shocked to read this, I just can’t get over how selfish, irresponsible and ignorant some people are. I’m so glad your hubby came through this, what an awful scare for you. Sending huge hugs, will read on… and will share on FB ❀ xoxo

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    1. Thank you my friend. It’s certainly been a long journey for us, searching for the cause for his ongoing illness, and that darned scare was only an isolated incident due to a previous procedure. To keep sane, and make light of everything, I’ve been documenting the journey with all the discoveries. I’ll be sharing that later this week.
      And, I’ll be by FB to visit your page later. ❀ xoxo

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      1. A long journey for you indeed my friend…I look forward to reading what you’ve discovered and hope that hubby is feeling much better…and you’re keeping well too after your horrible bout of flu which leaves its mark, you know we will keep saying to one another to take care πŸ™‚ Great to be in touch…big hugs… ❀ xoxo

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      2. It’s certainly been a very long road, and it’s not over yet, but I’m seeing light now in what was a very dark tunnel. I’ll be sharing that post tomorrow, after I finish writing it today. The attachment link will be the journey of symptoms and discovery, which of course won’t be of interest to everyone, but I’m willing to share it because there are a lot of clues to hub’s illness in it. And if I can help someone else from chasing their tails, I’m doing some good for others too. πŸ™‚ xoxo Thanks again for your concern, love and friendship. ❀

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      3. I’m so glad you’re seeing the light Deb, you’re doing a wonderful thing letting others know all you’ve discovered about your husband’s symptoms. You are so generous and caring, with such a big heart. I look forward to reading in the next day or two for sure. And likewise dear friend…likewise… πŸ™‚ ❀ xoxo

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  17. First Debbie apologies to you as I am only just catching up with you..
    I am so sorry to hear your Hubby took a turn for the worse dear Debbie.. I am hoping as I read further into your posts he is improving.
    As to your post about Ambulances.. I was driving on Monday and was approaching the lights with 3 cars in front of me.. When an Ambulance was coming lights and siren blazing to cross the lights in front of us..
    I was astonished to see the car at the front of us 3 still continue to cross.. The ambulance had to slow down with inches to spare from a collision .. I couldn’t believe the stupidity of the driver not giving way ..
    So it happens all over..

    Love Sue

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    1. So I’ve been hearing this stupidity from others here. It goes to show that there are just too many inconsiderate drivers everywhere. How to make them learn is the big question. xo ❀

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      1. My thoughts exactly Sue. Although I’d never wish it on anyone, it’s unfortunate that so many don’t think about these things until they are faced with the situation. πŸ™‚

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  18. It really is beyond me how so many people have driving licences and why the heck ain’t it tested for in the exam????!!!! Sending my love and hope that hubby is ok or at least recovering

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