You won't be any good to anyone else if you are dead. It's as simple as that. Would you put your oxygen mask on before you put it on someone else? You should. You kind of become the other person's life line when you do. It seems like a selfish move but it really is more selfless.
Teachers don't go into a classroom without a lesson plan. Firemen don't go into a burning building dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Doctors don't go into an operating room without the right surgical tools.
You need to be prepared. You can't help anyone until you help yourself first.
I'm noticing a couple trends these days. There's two camps on this. It seems that a lot of people want to rush to save someone else without saving themselves and the others want to believe that the only thing they need to do is look out for themselves alone. Screw everyone else.
There's a theory in Buddhism - by myself alone - which means I, alone, am responsible for the state of my world, of my mind and of my heart. When you start taking responsibility for where you are today and stop blaming the people around you that is when you can truly understand where you are and where you are going. That's a good thing. Just don't start ignoring the people around you when you do.