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EMS official: Slow down and pay attention

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Two county first responders answering an accident call near the New Shackle Island Road - Drakes Creek Road intersection last Saturday evening, suffered injuries after another vehicle hit a county ambulance at the scene.

"We were working a motorcycle accident, treating the individual and the ambulance was parked in the road," Sam Clark, assistant chief for Sumner County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) said. "Traffic was backed up and somehow a car ended up rear-ending the ambulance parked on scene."

Clark said the force of the impact knocked an EMS paramedic out of the ambulance and also sent a Sumner County sheriff's deputy into a nearby ditch. Both were transported to a local hospital, treated, and later released, he said.

"If you are approaching an accident scene, slow down," Clark said. "The biggest thing we see is they fly through these accident scenes. Slow down for us."

Also, if an ambulance is approaching a moving vehicle to get through, there are rules for that as well, Clark said.

"If an ambulance is coming up behind you on the road, we ask that you move to the right if it's safe to do so," Clark said. "If you can't get to the right, we will give you room to move over to a shoulder."

Clark said this was the first incident of a county ambulance and personnel being hit while on a scene. Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford said this was also the first time any of his employees have been hit by a vehicle while on an accident scene.

Weatherford said the driver of the vehicle that hit the ambulance appeared to be suffering from a medical emergency.

"From what I understand, his sugar level had dropped and he was involved in two accident before he hit (the ambulance), he said.

The initial incident which involved a car vs. motorcycle is still under investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Last week, a first responder was killed while answering an accident call in Rutherford County.

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