On Oahu, hundreds of emergency calls are made every day. First responders take to the streets to help, but they sometimes run into the problem of drivers not knowing what to do when the lights and sirens are headed their way.
Hawaii's paramedics prepare for all kinds of emergencies.
"We never know what we're getting into at any point in time, we never know what kind of call we are going to get," said paramedic Angela Muramoto.
Paramedics respond to gruesome accidents and bloody crime scenes but what worries them most about a call?
"The scariest thing is the driving, never knowing if as I cross an intersection everyone will stop. Do they know I am coming through? We have to put our trust in the public," said Muramoto.
Racing on the freeway to respond to an emergency doesn't cause as much concern as weaving around busy city streets.
"The most dangerous place is an intersection. You may be going through a traffic light or stop sign where you have to stop -- to make sure everybody sees you before you proceed through that intersection safely," said Dr. James Ireland, the Director of Emergency Services.
To make drivers more aware, ambulances may have their lights on and sirens blaring.
"Paramedics use the lights and sirens only when it is an emergency," said Ireland.
But some paramedics say, that can confuse drivers entering an intersection. Those drivers may immediately stop where they are and end up blocking the road.
The Hawaii driver's manual states you must stop for an emergency vehicle, but it also said before you put on the brakes you also have to provide a clear path for first responders.
<graphic = Move your vehicle out of the path of the emergency vehicle toward the edge of the road and stop>
For those driving on freeways or major roads which are one-way, that can mean stopping on either side of the busy street.
Paramedics are trained specifically for safe driving, but accidents can and do happen.
When cars follow close behind a responding ambulance, the chance of that happening increases.
"That's dangerous, cause the ambulance may have to stop suddenly. Over the last few years, people who were doing that have run into the back of the ambulance," said Ireland.
The rules of road are common sense. They allow paramedics to respond during an emergency and keep drivers from needing help themselves.
"For everyone, I hope they take a deep breath and safety get out of our way. We don't need to have them cause another accident," said Muramoto.
First responder's greatest fear
Other drivers worry Oahu paramedics mostUPDATED 10:30 PM HST Dec 16, 2012
On Oahu, hundreds of emergency calls are made every day. First responders take to the streets to help, but they sometimes run into the problem of drivers not knowing what to do when the lights and sirens are headed their way.Recommended