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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Be "Street Smart" - Safety First

Members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department participated in a press conference held today to raise the awareness of pedestrian safety. “Street Smart” is an annual public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign in the Washington, DC, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia area. Since its beginning in 2002, the campaign has used radio, newspaper, and transit advertising, public awareness efforts, and added law enforcement to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The press conference was held in a parking lot at the busy intersection of Marlboro Pike and Silver Hill Road in District Heights.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor was one of the featured guest speakers and spoke of the Fire/EMS Department support for enforcement efforts and also on the strain on fire and EMS resources when required to respond to a pedestrian incident. “Pedestrian accidents consume not only our responder’s physical presence, but also the psychological edge for the rest of their shift, and certainly that of the victims’ families. In addition to the law enforcement presence, every pedestrian accident brings at least a fire engine, basic life support ambulance, and a paramedic - upwards of 8 to 10 responders - for every additional patient, another two responders, and if meda-vac helicopter is needed, another fire engine with additional personnel is needed,” said Bashoor. “Fortunately we have a very robust trauma care network in the State of Maryland, but it is a network filled with traumas like pedestrian events that should never happen.”

Prince George’s County Paramedics Stephanie Buffum and Amy Gunn provided a personal overview of senseless traumatic pedestrian incidents that they worked which highlighted the challenges in dealing with victims and their families.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department strongly support "Street Smart" and the enforcement effort that is required by our public safety partners which help to raise the awareness of pedestrian laws.  We know that often times the motorist is not at fault and it is the pedestrian that could have avoided the crash had they followed the law. 
Use crosswalks and obey traffic/pedestrian control devices at intersections are just two safety tips that will help pedestrian's from being struck and motorists should drive defensively, slow down in areas of high pedestrian traffic and obey all traffic control devices.
For additional information about the Street Smart program, click here.  Remember, Safety First Ensures Everyone Goes home.

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