First responder safety

Local News
A retired Pennsylvania State Trooper who was seriously hurt while trying to help someone on a highway is traveling the country to tell his story.
 
Tonight he spoke to first responders in our region.
 
Tonight tow truck drivers, state troopers, EMS workers, and firefighters learned tips for staying safe at the scene of crashes and other dangerous situations.
 
On Tuesday night, retired state trooper Bob Bemis shared his story with first responders.
 
In March of 2015, he pulled off to the shoulder of highway 81 near Frackville, to help someone whose car caught fire.
 
When he got out, another car swerved and crashed into Bob’s car, which hit him.
 
 “My initial injuries were my L1 vertebrae was compltely crushed, which contributed to what’s known as an incomplete spinal injury, my left femur was broken badly, my left lung had collapsed,” Bemus, said.
 
Bob’s feet are paralyzed, and he lost his vision in his left eye. 
But he says nothing will stop him from speaking to first responders about being aware of their surroundings when at an emergency.
 
 “It’s very important for them not only to be focused on the task at hand, but also to make sure that they keep one eye open at all times for the dangers of the passing traffic,” Bemus said.
 
Tom Cromwell, tow truck driver for interstate emergency services says something we can all take away from Bob’s speech was to know what your quick escape plan is, in case a vehicle comes at you.
 
“Typically when I’m at a job site, is the customers and what’s going on around me, but I need to learn to take more time to have an escape plan set up,” Cromwell said.
 
Those dangers hit close to home in February of 2018, when Bobby Gensimore, a volunteer firefighter and PennDOT employee was killed on I-99 while putting out flares at the scene of an accident.
Genismore’s family started the “LT. 22-40 First Responder Foundation” in his honor.
 
The “LT. 22-40 First Responder Foundation” is puttion on a “Run 4 responders” 5K this Saturday at 8:30AM. 
 
All of the money raised at the run will pay for gear for Central Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments in need.

 
 

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