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Posted: April 15, 2009 12:00 a.m.

When seconds count

Public Safety Program shows what happens from 911 call to the hospital

Amber Pittman/

Trapped: Covington firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel removed the top of a car to extract the two "victims" inside in a public training exercise.

Ever wonder what happens when you call 911 for help after an accident? Tuesday afternoon members of the Rotary Club of Covington had an opportunity to find out firsthand from Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton as he hosted a public safety program.

With the back half of Martin’s Crossing shopping center off U.S. Highway 278 blocked off, emergency officials demonstrated what happens when a call for help comes in to 911.

"I think that public safety in Covington is top notch," said Cotton. "We have excellent equipment, but it’s all about the men and women who operate that equipment that makes a difference."

Covington-Newton County 911 received the call for help and sent officers from the CPD to the "scene," where two cars had been involved in an accident. One car with two people inside had been T-boned by another car. One person was fine and two were in need of medical assistance.

After the officers arrived and assessed the scene, the Covington Fire Department and Newton County EMS arrived within moments of one another. Officers directed traffic and spoke with the uninjured driver while firefighters began the laborious process of cutting the roof off of the vehicle in order to get to the injured parties inside. EMS then checked out the victims and air rescue arrived to transport one of the injured to a hospital for treatment. Afterward, officers began to mark the scene of the crime and a copy of an accident report, featuring "John Doe" and "John Don’t" was distributed.

"It’s an orchestrated event performed by many people," said Cotton, before allowing the Rotary members the opportunity to take a look inside all of the emergency vehicles and talk to the emergency officials present. "I’m confident that the city of Covington – if you need us – that we are ready for it."

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