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Situational Awareness Makes a Hero

Car Submerged
A submerged SUV shortly after sliding into a pond in southwest Springfield Tuesday, where passerby Donovan Hensley rescued two women/Credit: Springfield News-Leader

On Tuesday, Donovan Hensley took quick action to rescue two women from an icy pond in Springfield, after their car had slid off the road. KSMU’s Anna Thomas explores how situational awareness can make a passerby a hero.

It’s easy to focus solely on your own driving or walking in bad weather conditions. But Dale Moore, public information officer for the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management, says being aware of the entire situation could save someone else.

“If folks really are aware of their situations or their surroundings then they are spending a little more time thinking about those kinds of things,” Moore said.

And in that process, people could spot others who are in need or even prevent accidents from happening. Lisa Cox is the public affairs officer for the Springfield Police Department.

“You have to be prepared for other people to make mistakes too. Even if you’re being extremely cautiously, someone could be driving erratically next to you,” Cox said.

But what makes a real hero in this situation, Moore says, is just being ready to help out.

“Random acts of kindness manifest themselves in a whole lot of ways, and sometimes it involves, you know, a simple thing of just helping someone out with jumping their car if they’re stuck, or knowing when to jump into action when life safety may be involved.  So that’s what heroes are all about. Not trying to be heroes but it just works out that way,” Moore said.

In emergency situations, officials advise you to first call 9-1-1 before proceeding to help.

For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.