BECKLEY (WVNS) – During roadway accidents, first responders are on the scene day and night making sure drivers can get through safely, alongside clearing the debris. 

Monday, November 13, 2023 through Friday, 17, 2023 is Crash Responder Safety Week.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 7 million vehicle accidents annually.

Firefighters, police, ambulance drivers and tow trucks arrive at the scene of an accident to clear the roadway and help those in the accident.

Unfortunately, statistics show that one first responder a week is killed clearing a roadway accident.

Chris Lanna, Lieutenant of the City of Beckley Fire Department, said there are different reactions from drivers when arriving upon an accident.

“You’re not expecting as a daily driver to run across an accident scene. Some people react well to that and some people just go a little crazy and don’t know what to do. So, they’ll slam on the brakes in the middle of the road, for example,” said Lanna.

When clearing the scene of an accident, both sides of the scene are covered.

First Responders try to the best of their ability to direct drivers through the scene of the accident.

Lanna said being aware while driving helps tremendously.

“Just always be alert. Put your phones down, don’t worry about responding to that text message. It’s not worth your life or somebody’s life if you run into the back of an accident scene all of a sudden,” said Lanna.

First Responders risk their lives daily to try and make the environment around you and them safe and secure. Crash Responder Safety Week is a time to consider being not only more aware, but cautious of your surroundings when driving.