Why people often don’t help – and why, really, those reasons shouldn’t stop us in an emergency

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, my wife and I recently “cut the cord” and ended our cable service. As a result of that, I ran across a channel on our Roku called “Roy on Rescue.” It’s done by a professional paramedic/EMT, and he addresses different issues dealing with being a first aider/first responder and also answers questions that people send in to him. (His website is www.royonrescue.com and his videos can also be seen on Youtube.

One of the episodes was titled Person Dying and you can help. so what’s stopping you?  (You can watch it here, if you like: http://www.royonrescue.com/2010/01/person-dying-and-you-can-help-so-whats-stopping-you/  ) In it he dealt with exactly that issue; the reasons people often give for (a) why they don’t help and (b) what can be done to show that either those reasons don’t or wouldn’t apply, or what can be done to make those reasons NOT apply.

It really was an eye opening experience for me to watch the video, because helping has always been second nature to me. Why? There are probably a lot of reasons why, (some of which I’ve touched on in other posts here on The Takedown)  and none of which include things like “Because I’m such an awesome guy”  or “Because I’m a superhero type and the ONLY one who CAN save people.” It was a good look into some of the reasons why others may not help, and how all of us can work to not only overcome those potential barriers in ourselves, but also help others to do the same, should they express them to us. The world needs people who care. It certainly has enough people who don’t, after all. Don’t believe me? Consider this, then: An estimated 294,000+ cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year that are treated in an out-of-hospital setting. Out of those, only an estimated 10%  of people do anything to help during those situations. That says, to me, there’s a problem somewhere. My hope is that by sharing this, it may reach even one person and help them realize that they CAN help – and that in a crisis, they WILL.

In a nutshell, the 5 reasons were as follows:

1. Unsafe scene – this is the only  one for which nothing can be done as far as “fixing” or “overcoming” it. A primary rule of being a first aider is that if the scene is not safe, do not enter it. Call the professionals. If you do not, you run the risk of becoming a casualty yourself, and then you are of no help to anyone and also become an additional burden to others who may arrive because now you need to be rescued. You might say it’s the only “legitimate” reason for not rendering assistance.

2. Liability: “I might get sued.”  Solution: Good Samaritan laws. Check them out.

3. Disease: “I might catch something if I do CPR/rescue breathing.” Solution: PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

4. “I don’t know what to do! I don’t remember the numbers for CPR!” Solution: You don’t need to. Anything is better than nothing, even if it’s not the exact number of compressions.

5. “I might actually make the person worse instead of make them better.”  Solution: Same as #4, but also this – “You can’t make a dead person deader. You can only make them better.”

Rather than go into all the details that he does, I’ll leave you with that and STRONGLY encourage you to watch the video. It’s not that long, and I truly believe that you, like me, will come away changed.

Until next time, God bless, my friends.