As towers, it can sometimes be hard to remember that the casualty isn’t the most important thing on scene. Yes, what you are there to do is tow a vehicle. But why you are there is to help someone in need.
Simply put, you should always take care of the customer before taking care of the casualty.
Why? Because it’s the customer, not the casualty, that may feel overwhelmed, unsafe or confused. Because the customer is in more danger than the casualty. Because it’s the customer, not the casualty, that called for assistance. And it’s the customer, not the casualty, that expects good customer service.
When you arrive at the scene, before you even start inspecting the casualty, you should speak with the customer. You need to introduce yourself and quickly move the customer to a safe location. WreckMaster recommends putting the customer in the cab of your truck with their seatbelt on while on the road side. At the minimum, the customer should at least be placed on the non-traffic side of a barrier.
Speaking with the customer is part of your survey. They may have information about their vehicle that may be important. That said, always be sure to verify what information the customer tells you before beginning your tow.
After your survey has been completed and you’ve made all your calculations, you still need to explain to the customer what is going to happen. This is an important conversation to have so they know what steps to take after the casualty has been moved, but also to help put their mind at ease.
All conversations with the customer can happen with the customer in the cab of the truck and the operator on the non-traffic side of the scene.
Remember, towing a casualty is what your are there to do. Helping someone in need is why you are there.