First responders urge safe celebrating on New Year’s Eve

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The clock is ticking as we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020. As you celebrate the New Year by going out or staying at home, Cumberland Goodwill EMS wants to make sure you ring in the New Year safely.

“You really have to take safety seriously. We can’t take a holiday off on safety. It sounds cliche but there’s a lot of people that focus on the party and not getting home safely,” said Nathan Harig, assistant chief of Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

Harig says just a few minutes after the clock strikes midnight, they are typically on a call for a medical emergency or traumatic injury.

“We’ve run into a lot of situations where we’re responding to instances involving alcohol, overdoses, and then traffic accidents as a result of drunk driving,” Harig said.

He says ride-sharing apps and designated drivers provide patrons options to get home safely.

“We tell people, especially those who are planning on using alcohol, moderation, pace yourself, hydrate and know your limits,” Harig said.

If you want to ring in the New Year with a bang, make sure you’re following Pennsylvania’s laws on firework safety.

“Fireworks have to be at least 150 feet away from any building here in Pennsylvania and if you’re intoxicated, you are not legally allowed to handle fireworks,” Harig said.

Cumberland Goodwill EMS says people also fire off their guns into the air at midnight which can result in serious injury.

“This is a projectile. This is dangerous. This can kill. So you have to be a responsible gun owner, and do not shoot it off in the air,” Harig said.

If you have an emergency, call 911 right away.

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