Three people died in New York following a collision between two buses—one a tour bus carrying people visiting the city, the other a New York MTA owned bus that operated for people living in the city as part of its public transportation. The accident occurred in the early morning, and the two buses collided while one was attempting to make a ride turn on a busy street. The tour bus, after colliding with the MTA vehicle, hit a nearby KFC, starting a fire inside the building. The three people killed include the tour bus driver, a passenger on the MTA bus, and a pedestrian who was pinned by a bus and died at the scene. In addition to those, 16 people suffered injuries of various degrees. Five of those are in critical condition, and if or how long they’ll be able to survive is unknown.
An accident like this is obviously a terrible occurrence. As this Des Moines car accident website says, poor decision making by the drivers, can end or permanently alter people’s lives. Even those who aren’t killed or severely harmed by the crash may be suffering in other ways, such as minor injuries and the trauma associated with going through such a terrible event. Seeing that kind of destruction and damage to other human beings isn’t something that one forgets easily. Even those who were not directly involved in the crash may still be affected by it. One resident who lived in a nearby building witnessed the aftermath of the crash and described how horrifying it was.
For the people who have to deal with these situations on an everyday basis as part of their jobs, such as police and EMTs, that horror can be magnified. Dealing with trauma and stressful situations like that is not an easy thing to do regularly. Many studies have shown the problems that can be associated with professions such as these: significantly higher rates of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse, rates of PTSD that rival those of professional soldiers, and much higher rates of family problems. Emergency services are some of the vital jobs in our society. They save lives, keep people safe, and help manage dangers of chaotic life in modern cities. But often, they don’t receive the help or attention they deserve. A study showed that 2.5% of new EMTs show signs of PTSD. But among those with seven or more years of experience, the rate is close to 15%. New initiatives have been formed to try to combat this, such as offering counseling services, managing workloads better, and campaigns to increase mental health awareness. But it’s difficult to tell how much of an effect they’re having.
Crashes like one in New York are at the end of what a paramedic might have to deal with. But smaller crashes can be just as horrific, and the slew of other situations they have to deal with can easily take a toll. The safety of our emergency service workers is a key issue and one we should all be aware of.