Protecting first responders

- Posted by Author: Will in Category: Blog | 1 min read
will bouma in fire fighting gear in front of fire truck

I’m a volunteer firefighter with the County of Brant. Quite a few times I’ve responded to an accident on Highway 24 or some other roads in the area.

As you approach a vehicle, you have no idea where the critical safety parts of the vehicle are. Where’s the battery? Where are the explosive canisters that set off the air bags?

A few months ago, we were hunting for the battery of a vehicle that had been in an accident. It turned out it was under the driver’s side seat. Sometimes it’s under the back seat, sometimes it’s in the trunk.

That’s critical information for a first responder to know.

One day I was driving to Toronto and got stuck in traffic. I started playing a little game, looking at cars and trying to figure out where the battery was for that model. Or if I had to cut through part of the metal, would it be safe?

Suddenly, I had an idea. What if manufacturers put a sticker on each car with a QR code linking to all that information? First responders could just point a phone at the code and know what they were dealing with.

The first responder would have the information necessary to safely extricate an accident victim or disable the power, so no one gets hurt by exploding airbags.

I spoke to some people in emergency services – paramedics, police, fire fighters – and they all thought it was a worthwhile exercise.

The next step is to talk to the auto industry and see what they think.

We’re developing a private member’s bill that I’ll introduce the next opportunity I get.

Getting this done a small thing that could make a big difference to the people we count on to keep us safe.