Recent studies have shown that EMS workers are more likely to get injured on the job than police officers or firefighters.  Thursday the Southern Alleghenies EMS Council kicked off a state-wide EMS safety initiative.  Thursday’s course was about traffic incidents. Dozens of first responders attended.

We’re told their initial training dealt more with how you work on a roadway.  The additional training taught the first responders about how to make sure a scene is safe and how to clear the scene of an accident quickly to avoid other potential accidents.

The initiative was started in memory of Janice Keen Livingston.  She’s the West End paramedic who was struck and killed by a coal truck in March 2015.

Organizers of the event told WTAJ their overall message to the workers was that they want them to get home safely to their families each night.  They’re hoping those who attended can relay what they learned to their coworkers.

“There are a number of different ways that EMS personnel are injured.  The primary cause of injury and fatality is motor vehicle accidents.  So we’re also having initiatives on motor vehicle training, so that drivers know how to handle their vehicles, as well as what is the appropriate way to respond to a call,” said Carl Moen, the executive director for the Southern Alleghenies EMS Council.

In the future they are also looking to hold sessions on physical fitness and mental health.