When have you become the first responder?

Just joined the forum after seeing ya’ll on CNN last night. I have been looking for a website with good information about emergency preparedness and it seems to have found me!

I’d like to hop in and introduce myself as Molly and ask a question. When have you had the chance to be a first responder to someone or a situation? Have you came across a car accident or stopped a child from choking on something?

I’ve always been intrigued with being prepared and able to help out others and save the day. I once saved my niece from drowning at a family BBQ. She was a decent swimmer but for some reason must have tuckered out and just went under the water. I went down and pulled her out and she sputtered some water and was afraid of the pool for the rest of the day, but she made it.

Thank you to everyone who comments and replies. 


  • Comments (17)

    • 5

      Good morning Molly,

      A warm welcome to the TP.com forum.  

      I’m confident this is the place you’ve been seeking.

      Circa 1959, I placed direct pressure on someone’s arm who had massive arterial bleeding from falling off a ladder. Had learned this first aid in the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts.

      Again, a warm welcome.  Looking forward to your posts.

      Transmitting from the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia

      • 1

        Thank you for the warm welcome Bob 😊 

        That’s an incredible story of you stopping the bleeding of that person. Hopefully I would narrow in and focus on the situation at hand and be a hero like you and not just faint. 😱

    • 4

      Once came across a car accident and no one there knew what to do and were just waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Two men were wandering around with blood soaked shirts holding their hands and arms to try and stop the bleeding. My family was able to pull out our vehicle first aid kit and apply some level of help by having clean bandages and gauze. We did all we could and they thanked us as we left.

      Welcome to the forum Molly!!

      • 1

        It’s nice to be prepared so we can help others like you did Henry 💖💖💖

    • 3

      This topic reminds me of a story a few months ago where two police officers rescue a man from a burning truck moments before it explodes.

      The story behind it is that the driver had a medical emergency which left his foot on the accelerator. With his truck unable to move, the tires span in place long enough that it triggered a fire. The man survived but did have very serious smoke inhalation injuries. 

      Although it was a first responder (the cops) who saved him, anyone could have done what they did by opening the door and pulling the man out. Two tools that seemed to help in the video were his night stick to break out the window and a fire extinguisher. You see the 2nd officer trying to cut off a safety tag on the extinguisher so he could use it. If they had prepared their extinguisher beforehand and cut off the tag, it could have saved them a few seconds of reaction time. These two police officers are true heroes.

      • 1

        What an intense video Carter! That would be a scary 😨 moment

    • 4

      Hi, Molly. Welcome to the forum! For me, part of preparedness is thinking ahead to what might happen and being ready to minimize or eliminate it if it’s not good. An elderly relative tripped going down a few stairs, and I caught her just before her head hit a wall. I positioned myself in a spot to do that in case it happened, and I was ready.

      • 1

        That could have ended badly with some unpleasant time in the hospital had you not reacted quickly!

    • 3

      I’m that weird guy that carries a tourniquet around with him everywhere he goes. Sure it’s not as convenient as not carrying one, but it’s my little service that I can render to others around me.

      IF a situation ever came up where I needed to use a tourniquet and saved someone’s limb or life, it would be worth the years of lugging that thing around.

    • 3

      Welcome Molly!  I think you have found the right place.  I have witnessed and been first on scene at a few car accidents one being multiple cars and truck with horse trailer.  I called 911 as I was running to the vehicles to check on persons.  No blood, but internal injuries.  My best support was calming down the patients and then setting out flares to prevent a second accident to the scene on the highway. 

      I’ve also been the one with the first aid kit for a compound fracture at second base during a softball game.  Luckily, the other team included an ER nurse so I didn’t need to use any of my limited medical skills.  Nope, she didn’t have a FAK with her.  So together, we addressed the crisis and got the patient off to the hospital. 

      It’s also the small heroism that is rewarding.  I am also the one at work with the FAK to bandage a sizable skinned knee after a co-worker fell on cement.  Or has the measuring tape, screwdriver or hammer in the office for that rare need.  

      • 1

        Having a calm demeanor and level head are two of the best traits a person can have to help others. 😀 Good for you Alicia!

    • 3

      I have been in that situation a few too many times (while off duty).  The most recent situations were a cardiac arrest at a friends wedding where I lead the response.  There were two RNs there as well, but with less emergency medicine experience.  I have also helped several hikers, some injured who needed some supplies, and others who got into dangerous terrain that they weren’t prepared for.  Being a climber heading to some technical routes in the area my buddy and I roped them up and got them to a safe trail.  Also assorted motor vehicle collisions and motorcycle accidents over the years.  Since I am such a sh*t magnet I have a full jump bag in my car, an IFAK in my backpack, and a swat-t and cpr mask in my pocket.  

      • 2

        LOL!  I hope you’re not also a SHTF magnet.  🙂 

        Seriously, nice work.  You also wear a cape, superhero.  

      • 2

        Maybe you were placed into those situations as a saving angel 😇 to help them when others wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

    • 2

      I was the only trained  first aider on a building site, that was back in the mid 80s.

    • 2

      Many years ago I was returning home from work when I saw a man giving CPR to my neighbor in her front yard! I had just been trained in CPR at work, so I stopped and rushed to help. The off duty 1st responder was very grateful since he was exhausted. Unfortunately our efforts failed. The greater failure however, was that no one else before me stopped to offer help or even call 911! When I relieved the guy, he was the first to call 911 and he said he’d been there for at least fifteen minutes.  Don’t be afraid to get involved! Almost every “hero” will tell you they did what anyone can do.

      • 1

        WOW!!! 💖 That is such a wonderful story. Don’t get too beat up about that person not making it though, only 45% of CPR victims survive, so 65% of the time, it doesn’t work. I bet you guys did everything you could have and should feel good about that.