After being in Taiwan for 4 days, I witnessed a vehicle accident near my apartment building. It was dark and slightly rainy, and the accident occurred in front of an apartment entrance right next to my family’s apartment. I rushed to the scene to help move a woman and her 5 or 6 year old boy from the vehicle wreckage. The lady was in pain and her leg was bent at a weird angle, and the boy was fine but clearly in shock. Heavy traffic still continued from both directions, and with other pedestrians’ help I moved the lady and her boy to the roadside.
At that point I did not know what to do, and my First Aid training went out the window. The lady was in some pain but did not have life-threatening injuries, and an ambulance was on its way. I asked the security guard if we can let the lady and her boy go inside the security guard office and he said “No.”. The situation was initially calm, but once the ambulance and police showed up everything started going downhill. The security guard was telling the ambulance to move because it was blocking the entrance of the building, and the woman was screaming in pain when the paramedic was moving her to ambulance, and it seemed that her leg was broken. I kept the boy focused by teaching him a left jab and a right straight, a 1, 2 combo and asking him questions. Finally, the ambulance took both the lady and the boy to the nearest hospital.
I was both ashamed and proud of my fellow countrymen. People came and helped. I seriously wanted to tell the security guard that he was a piece of s**t, but fortunately I am calm and wise enough to know that it would only make situation worse. The EMT simply ignored him, the police did not ask for a witness report and when I volunteered my information as a witness the police officer does not want to deal with it. This taught me unlike in Canada, not every country has a professional police force.
I rushed in the scene and took charge to remove the lady and her boy from an immediate threat (oncoming traffic). I did not think, but merely instinctually ran towards the situation. I believe this was because of my military and first aider training, but after removing the causalities, I did not perform the primary assessment as I should have in first aid, and I did not have enough resources to cover the lady and the boy to keep them warm. I felt angry when I had to deal with the unprofessional and unethical behavior of the security guard at the nearby apartment, and since I did not know how to diplomatically suggest to him to shut up, I said nothing and waited for the EMT and police to arrive.
In life, we generally find out what we lack only after the events have already happened. I would say my experience with this particular traffic accident woke me up about the lack of medical and first aid knowledge I have, and I need to change that.
Written by: Borki Yony