A few days ago, a co-worker of mine shared a story with me from the Los Angels Times about at least half a dozen people who were electrocuted while trying to save a young man’s life; two women even died.
The young man, a 19 year old from Glendale, CA, hit a fire-hydrant, causing water to flood the area. To make matters worse, during his crash, a lamp post was also knocked over, which caused all the water to be flowing with an electric current.
Multiple people ran up to help after they saw the accident, but they didn’t stop to check to make sure the scene was safe, and as one after the other stepped into the water, they were all electrocuted.
Read more here about this tragic story.
I think it’s important to quote what Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. He “called the two women heroes and praised their instinct to render aid. But he also urged people to take time to assess such situations and wait for professionals to arrive. ‘We don’t want anyone hurt,’ he said.” (via Sam Quinones and Rebecca Trounson.)
It’s ALWAYS important, no matter how much you want to help, to make sure that the scene is SAFE before you jump at a chance to help. You can still have care and concern for the person and for the situation, but sometimes, the wisest thing to do is call 911 and wait for the emergency responders to arrive.
If the scene is safe, go ahead and help someone. But ALWAYS remember to check the scene first before rushing headlong into a tragedy.