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Driving tool helps first responders prepare for dangers

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Investigators say there wasn't much the driver of that ambulance could do to avoid that crash.
Paramedics and other first responders in Albany have access to a training tool that does help them stay safe on the roads.

EMS Director Greg Rowe says his heart aches for the family of 59 year old Deborah Walls. "That's one of the worst things anyone in public safety can be involved in, an accident with a bad outcome," he said.

Walls was killed Saturday when she crashed into a Dougherty County ambulance after crossing the median on the Liberty Expressway. "The driver of the ambulance had to climb out of his window as soon as it happened  because his door wouldn't open and tried to render aid to the driver of the other vehicle," he said.

The two Paramedics inside the ambulance were treated for minor injures, but Walls was pronounced dead at the scene.

That's why they're called accidents. They happen in the blink of an eye and nothing can fully prepare you for one. But paramedics in Dougherty County have access to a learning tool that takes them through potentially real life situations.  

The driving simulator belongs to the Albany fire department but they allow paramedics access to the simulator as a driving tool to prepare for real life scenarios.   "That truck is not going to stop as quickly as a regular pick up truck," he said.

Rowe says in addition to hands on training, paramedics and the patient inside the ambulance are secure most of the time.  "Any of our personnel in the back of the truck should be as secure as the personnel in the front of the truck," he said.

In the meantime he asks that folks on the roadway keep an eye out for any ambulances or other emergency vehicles.