Training prepares emergency crews for Interstate crashes

Emergency Response to Wrecks
Emergency Response to Wrecks

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Somewhere on the 106-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in South Carolina, there is a crash every three hours.

That figure is from 2015 research.

First responders worked all of those accidents, helping to save lives and clear wrecks.

Depending on the severity, at least five agencies respond to an accident.

First responders follow a plan when they arrive on scene.

A recent five-car crash on I-85 in Spartanburg County left one person dead. It also turned the highway into a parking lot with numerous drivers stuck in their cars with no way out.

First responders somehow work their way through the chaos, to help those in need.

Danny Thompson teaches the safety class to first responders.

“When they first arrive they’re sizing up that incident, they’re trying to paint the picture to other responders who are coming in and letting the incident commanders know what they have what additional resources may be needed,” says Thompson.

While responders help the injured, direct traffic, and clear lanes, other drivers usually sit and wait.

McKenna Smith drives I-85 frequently and sat bumper to bumper with other drivers for more than two hours during the most recent accident on the highway.

“I was concerned about the people ahead in the accident, so if you’re stuck their for that long, there were so many ambulances and first responders that kept going past, just constantly for the whole 2 hours. I knew something had to be bad. It said the coroner was responding, so I was just praying for everyone the whole time,” Smith says.

Monday, first responders attended a safety class.

It’s offered throughout the state, multiple times a year. It reviews past wrecks and looks for ways to improve future efforts.

“We also begin to form traffic control measures for the motorist coming into that incident, and they’re beginning to be able to merge over, we also use cones when we’re out there, and that helps us to develop what we refer to as cone taper,” says Thompson.

They also use strategically placed emergency vehicles to give responders a safe area to work. It also helps them direct traffic around the incident.

When accidents occur, lessons learned in the classroom come alive on the streets and highways.