Paramedics wary of dangers on the road - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Paramedics wary of dangers on the road

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Paramedics and EMTs are well aware of the dangers that surround them on the roads they drive while trying to save lives.

"Pretty much expect the unexpected," said Wayne Township Paramedic Aaron Barton.

"It happens a lot. A lot of people just don't pay attention to what's going on," said EMT Ryan Hartkorn, who works with Barton. "Pretty much every run, we see it."

He's talking about drivers failing to yield to his ambulance when he's running "lights and sirens" to a call.

Eyewitness News talked to Barton and Hartkorn two days after two EMTs were killed in a crash with a car in downtown Indianapolis. That accident remains under investigation.

"We know people are listening to their radios real loud nowadays. They're on their cell phones, they have many other distractions," said Wayne Township Fire Department Lt. George Boots

In well-insulated cars, civilian drivers don't always hear the rescue gear coming.

"I've been involved in an accident as a driver on the fire engine," said Boots.

His choices that day were to hit a school bus or the car that failed to yield to the fire truck, or go up a curb and risk flipping over.

"The option is quick. You have to make that in a split second," Boots said.

He hit the curb. No one was hurt.

"Not pulling to the right is the biggest one," said Barton.

Drivers should pull over to the right to let the emergency vehicles pass.

"I've been passed going emergent to the hospital, red lights and sirens. Cars are blowing my doors off," Hartkorn said.

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