Police condemn bystanders for hindering first responders, filming resuscitation

Coosje Buskenstraat in Vlissingen
Coosje Buskenstraat in Vlissingen . (Photo: Politieteam Walcheren/Facebook)

The police posted a scathing message on Facebook condemning bystanders who hindered first responders in their attempt to save a woman's life in Vlissingen on Thursday. The woman's upper body had to be exposed for CPR, and bystanders felt it was necessary to stop, stare and film the woman, the Police Team Walcheren said on Facebook.

"Now nothing special can be seen on this photo, but [Thursday] afternoon we fought here with the ambulance crew, a general practitioner and a medical student for the life of a woman with cardiac arrest", the police wrote on Facebook, with a photo of Coosje Buskenstraat where the resuscitation happened. "We understand that it attracts a lot of passersby when several ambulance and police cars are parked at a scene."

"What we do not understand is why a lot of passersby kept walking past us and therefore hindered our work", the police continued. "Many people stopped to gape at a lady who, with an exposed upper body, was fighting for her life. How would you feel if it had been you? Or your mother, your grandmother? And what do you really want with this image on your retina? Why do you want to film the resuscitation of a stranger on your smartphone?"

The fire department had to be called in to shield away the resuscitation and keep the public at a distance. The police called this ridiculous, calling on the public to keep their distance in an emergency situation and give first responders space to do their work. 

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