Safety - The Good Samaritan

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Good Samaritan is someone who takes action to help a stranger in need.  It’s an innate characteristic we all share, but often times when we are surrounded by strangers, we freeze.  Perhaps it is the shock of the situation or the assumption someone else will take the leadership role.  While the reasons vary depending upon personality and state of mind when the situation unfolds, what remains constant is the far too common lack of action that can and does result in serious consequences.

Several years ago, while at a public venue, I heard consecutive screams.  I saw a woman fall to the ground and everyone including me froze.  It was very obvious this woman needed immediate help, yet everyone stood pat.  Although a stranger to those surrounding her, this human being, was most likely loved by several others in her personal life.  Maybe she was a mother, grandmother, wife or friend.  Would those in her inner circle have respond to her cry for help?  You bet!  Fortunately, two gentlemen, “Good Samaritans” rushed to her assistance and she survived.

The above situation stuck with me.  Why didn’t I act?  Why didn’t so many others?  Dozens witnessed, yet only two took the initiative to help.  Humans naturally want to help others, but why do we often fail to do so in these situations?

Two weeks ago I was walking through the Philadelphia airport when I witnessed a woman fall to the ground while suffering from a seizure.  Several others witnessed the incident.  My subconscious told me to act based on my thoughts regarding my previous similar encounter.  I immediately sought help and emergency services arrived to help her.  She too survived.

Please think about this and tell yourself to act when someone needs help in a public situation.  Please tell your family and friends to do the same.  One day you may be in the situation where you need a “Good Samaritan”.  Pay it forward!

Here are two additional safety tips to share with your friends and family:

    • If you are alone and need immediate help, point to someone and specifically request their help!  Don’t assume someone will come immediately to your aid.
    • If you are alone in an isolated area and you approach someone alone crying for help, be very cautious as this could be a dangerous scam.  Get professional help!  If possible, find a group of pedestrians to assist you until the professional help arrives.