Heed the siren

Reported in The Star

Friday August 19, 2011

Nurse in ambulance-taxi collision succumbs to injuries

MALACCA: A nurse who crawled out alive from an overturned ambulance on Monday has died.

Yuhana Yasin, 30, from Parit Jawa, Muar, suffered serious internal injuries in the 6.50pm accident when a taxi rammed the rear of the ambulance at the Seri Negeri/MITC junction in Ayer Keroh.

A critically-ill patient Maryam Baba, 73, who was being rushed to Hospital Kuala Lumpur in the same ambulance, also died at Malacca Hospital due to serious head injuries sustained in the accident.

Yuhana’s fianc Mohd Faizal, 30, said they had planned to get married after Hari Raya.

Incidences like this should not have happened.

Driving etiquette is severely lacking in Malaysian society. Not giving way to an ambulance, beating a red light, overtaking on the left lane, using the emergency lanes during traffic congestion, double parking, tail gating, not stopping at a pedestrian crossing and the list goes on regarding the sins of Malaysian drivers.

In this instance, it is about respecting the siren. You are expected to slow down, give way and stay away. The taxi driver in this instant, perhaps wanted a clear path ahead by tail gating an ambulance.

An ambulance driver should also be trained in handling possible risky driving situations. From tail gaters to stubborn road blockers, they should be given a clear manual as to what they can and should do. If they feel that traffic will be excessively heavy and delay a trip, they should be given the avenue to call for police backup. Each of this instant should be logged by the ambulance and police in order to avoid abuse.

Ambulance drivers should not just focus on getting the patient from point A to point B. They should think safety of self first and protect the occupants of the ambulance at all costs.

Accidents involving ambulances are not uncommon. However, to suffer a loss of life either of the patient or crew during transportation, is unacceptable.

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One thought on “Heed the siren

  • August 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Gosh, that is indeed a sad story. My condolences to the victims’ family.

    I second the proposition of the dire need for proper training/ education of the ambulance drivers in Malaysia.

    A staff nurse once told me that everytime she was on board to go somewhere in the ambulance, she could feel herself palpitating as the driver swooshing on the road, often finding herself reaching out to anything to hold when the driver took a sudden turn that felt to her like everything could fly out of the window.

    With the still-ongoing anecdote, I found myself praying that she will not lose her life to such a silly course of action, which I need to emphasize, still ongoing.

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