The P A S System in Spain and what it means and entails
As in all countries in the event of an accident or incident the primary concern should be of the safety of those concerned. The Emergency Services have a system called P.A.S which is Proteger, Avisar y Soccorer. This does not translate literally for us into English but it means essentially Protect, Advise and Assist. These three things are very important to remember when we are fraught, nervous and frightened. If we try to remember this system by the abbreviations, similar to those used in TV advertisements to drive home information about a stroke FAST, we may find the situation less daunting and be able to deal with it more calmly. Let’s look at what one should do.
By remembering this phrase and following the actions in a methodical manner you can potentially save a life. Firstly you should think of your OWN safety and if you are going to assist at a scene make sure that you are wearing your high visibility jacket, and have parked your car safely and if you are on a very busy road and cannot park completely out of the way use your hazard warning lights to alert other road users to a potential hazard ahead. You should never approach a burning vehicle or go near to an accident involving a vehicle that is carrying hazardous goods i.e. gas, petrol etc. If it is safe for you to do so place your own warning triangles at an appropriate distant, again to warn other road users.
You should advise the emergency services, if the incident is dangerous, someone is hurt or injured by calling 112. These operators are fully trained and speak multi languages so do not worry. Remember that if you have a Pay as you go phone but no credit you can still call 112. You will need to provide them with a location, so if you know the street name or number e.g. TF65 KM3, then provide it if not look around and pick out landmarks that may help, such as Churches, Large Restaurants, Shops etc. or if you have a smart phone you can use that to pinpoint the location that you find yourself in. It will also help the emergency services if you are able to advise them how many people are involved, how many are injured, their state, i.e. unconscious, bleeding etc. or if perhaps a larger vehicle has been involved and someone is trapped, whether there is a potential danger of goods that may have been being carried moving and falling, or even if a vehicle is sitting precariously i.e. over a barranco or something similar. The more information you are able to supply the better it will be for the emergency services to dispatch the appropriate amount and type of vehicle/services necessary. Always stay on the line until the emergency services terminate the call as they may come back to you for more information.
Always be careful not to add to or aggravate any injuries sustained and unless you are a medical professional i.e. Doctor, Nurse or Paramedic, do not intervene. Do not attempt to remove people from vehicles, and if a biker is involved NEVER remove their helmet. If they do so then so be it.
NEVER give injured people food, drink or medication and wherever possible do not allow them to move on their own. Try to remain calm and stay until the emergency services arrive and only leave when they tell you that it is okay to do so, as sometimes you may be able to pass on vital information, which you may have deemed silly or not worthy of stating.
All in all the P.A.S system is really about common sense but in times of trouble this often leaves even the best of people! A foot note, THE POLICE DO NOT NEED to be called if there are no injured parties and the two sides complete and BOTH SIGN an accident claims form at the time for onward submission to their insurers.