Survey the scene
By Mark van der Feyst
On a vehicle crash call that involved a car hitting a hydro pole in front of a library, the responding EMS crews did not conduct a scene survey. This was verified by EMS when they were enlightened to the electrical wires that were down beside the vehicle. They did not see them until after the fact.
A scene survey is vital for any type of call that the fire department responds to. It allows for each individual to scan and pick up the obvious clues that are present. Look for clues that effect the crew's personal safety.
Electrical wires are a big clue that needs to be noticed as soon as possible. At any vehicle crash involving any type of utility pole, pay careful attention to downed wires. In the case of the crash at the library, EMS had extricated the driver without knowing there were downed electrical lines, increasing the risk to everyone.