A 15-year-old high school student is being called a hero after he put his life on the line to save classmates who were onboard a bus that caught fire in Gallatin last week.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the bus was traveling on Highway 109 when the engine burst into flames. The bus driver exited the bus and attempted to locate a fire extinguisher. Meanwhile, the interior of the bus began filling with black smoke, causing students to panic.
During the chaos, the boy managed to locate and open an emergency exit, allowing the students an opportunity to escape the thick smoke. After opening the emergency exit, the boy even stayed onboard the bus until all students had exited.
A total of 45 students were onboard the bus at the time of the incident, including middle school and high school students. The boy told reporters that he wasn’t supported to be on the bus when it caught fire, but boarded it due to being picked up on the second route of the day.
4 Tips for Assisting Victims after Accidents
Whether you were involved in a crash and sustained no or only minor injuries—or you drove up on the scene of an accident that just occurred—knowing the right steps to take during this time can be the difference between life and death for other victims. However, it’s common for people to feel overwhelmed and helpless during these situations, especially if they were involved in the accident themselves.
While many life-saving medical treatments should be left to professional paramedics and emergency responders, there are four things you can do to help victims:
- Pull your vehicle over in a safe location and call 911.
If you witnessed the accident or drove upon it shortly after it happened, calling 911 should be your priority. Pull over in a safe location, such as a parking lot or on the shoulder of the road, and tell the dispatcher as much information about the crash as possible, including where it happened, how many vehicles were involved, and the severity of injuries.
- Turn on your hazard lights if you’re near the crash scene.
This tip is especially important during times of low visibility, such as at night or during rain, snow, and fog. Crashes can disable the electrical systems in vehicles, cutting out their lights and making them difficult to see. Turning on your hazard lights can make drivers aware of an emergency ahead and reduce the risk of a secondary accident.
- Move victims if they’re in immediate danger, but avoid doing so if they’re not.
If a vehicle that was involved in the crash is filling with smoke or is at risk of catching fire, or if a victim is trapped inside, helping them escape or pulling them to safety can save their life. However, moving victims should only be done if they are in immediate danger, as sudden movements can cause severe complications to people who suffered head, neck, and spine injuries.
- Stay at the accident scene when police arrive.
If you were involved in the crash, you’re required by law to remain at the scene. However, you should stay at the scene even if you only witnessed the accident or were the first driver to see its aftermath. Your statements can help police put together an accurate account of what happened, which can helpful in the case of a hit-and-run accident or if the victims want to pursue claims for compensation.
In addition, other small gestures can also help victims emotionally and psychologically after accidents. Offering victims water, giving them blankets, or just talking to them to keep them calm until emergency responders arrive can make a big difference. Finally, if you’re trained in things like first aid and CPR, use your skills if necessary. Applying pressure to wounds can help stop bleeding, while CPR can restart a pulse in some situations.
Good Samaritans can make a big difference in the lives of victims. If you or someone you know was a victim of an auto accident that was caused by a negligent driver, it’s important that you get in touch with an experienced law firm right away. At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys can build a claim that will maximize your chances of receiving compensation for your accident-related expenses. Get in touch with us today—call (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.