This past Saturday morning there had been a car accident on my block. An older guy was driving along at a pretty quick pace, passed out from some previous medical condition (maybe stroke, hypoglycemia, seizure, whatever) and plowed into a row of parked cars right into front of a shul.
My sister immediately called 911 having witnessed the accident from her window. I heard the loud crash and go outside to see what's going on. What I see is the driver slumped over the passenger seat and a good couple dozen guys in black suits and regulation black hats gawking at the scene. There's also a woman on the corner talking excitedly on her cell phone.
I make my way over to the car to see if the driver is alright. I'm not making myself out to be some superhero, I am an EMT so I am trained to deal with these types of situations. One of the men from the shul is a doctor and has the passenger side door open and is analyzing the guy. The driver is face down, has a nice gash on his forehead (he wasn't wearing a seatbelt) has spit out his dentures onto the floor, is breathing with difficulty, coughing up some crap and is entirely unresponsive to my talking to him. This type of mechanism has a high likelihood of involved spinal damage so I held his head (not as well as I would have otherwise since I wasn't wearing gloves and I was avoiding places where he was bleeding) and continued monitoring his vitals.
A couple of minutes later, a Hatzoloh car comes driving up. These must've been guys who just heard the BANG like me since they were still wearing their talaisim (why they couldn't take them off before rolling - that I don't know). So I call out to them, "This guy's gonna need a collar." One calls on the radio for an ambulance and the others puts on gloves and futzes around in his bag for a cervical collar.
The guy comes around and I step back to let the Hatzoloh EMT, who's wearing gloves, take hold of the guy's head. But he doesn't take his head, he starts trying to talk to the patient who's obviously unresponsive and is just holding the collar in his hand. A few moments later a Maimonides ambulance comes by with some experienced techs and when they come around the Hatzoloh guy hands them the collar and they slap it on the guy's neck.
The rest of the incident goes as you might expect. Firefighters come by with their pointy toys eager to tear apart the chassis, but they're waved off by the Maimo guys. The patient is clearly in an altered mental status as he's waking up now and fighting the EMTs, but they eventually get him onto a longboard and a stretcher and off he goes to the ambulance and I have a great excuse for why I'm late to shul.
Anyway, so there's also a couple of cops in uniform checking out the accident and writing their reports. So I talk to one of them and I remarked on their quick response time (must've been ~4 minutes) since they usually take longer. And she said that it was a quiet morning, but she said that she was surprised given all the people watching the scene that the 911 system only got a two calls.
Two calls! That means that the only ones who cared enough to call for help were my sister and the goy down the street. Classic. Isn't it embarrassing when religious Jews are unwilling to call for an ambulance because it's a shaila to do so on Shabbos. A shaila?! There should be no question here. A life is in danger - you don't putz around asking questions if calling for help is permissible.
This type of event is hardly unique, I have a half-dozen similar situations which I know from personal experience. It is very fundamental Halacha that a life in danger overrules almost all other laws, that people don't internalize this and still stall in the midst of an emergency isn't a shaila, it's a shanda.