Would You Know What To Do?
We’ve all heard the horror stories from people who don’t ride; you know the ones I mean. They usually go something like this:
A relative of a friend of an acquaintance thrice removed came off his/ her motorbike a few years ago after hitting a wombat hole, he/ she now talks with a lisp.
You do realise that each rider is acutely aware of the risks involved with riding a motorcycle and most of us take steps to minimise those risks as much as possible, right?
This could be as simple as wearing all the gear all the time to up-skilling through rider training.
One of the things we as riders can do, if not for ourselves then for the people we ride with, is to do a first-aid course. If you’re anything like me, you hope to never need to render first-aid to anyone, let alone a fellow rider or someone close to you.
Chances are though, one day you’ll be riding along, minding your own business and you’ll be presented with some skid marks disappearing off into the scrub, or a bike in the middle of the lane, but no rider.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll be the first on the scene too; simply because most riders seek out similar roads or terrain – if you’re an adventure rider.
With that in mind. Would you know what to do if you came across a downed rider?
Would you know how to assess the scene, check for a response or know the difference between normal and abnormal breathing,?
Would you know when and how to remove a helmet, or how to move a casualty if they were in danger?
I know I didn’t.
Some of this is common sense, but some needs to be taught to you because if you do it wrong, it can mean the difference to life or death for the casualty.
Just about every good first-aid course will teach you how to apply a Band-Aid, move a patient into the recovery position, check for vitals and perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) etc…
Very few, if any, will teach you the skills you need to know at a motorcycle accident scene.
Recently The Pillion and I decided to take advantage of such a course being presented by Tracy and Roger Hughes of First Aid For Motorcyclists.
As they were in our town teaching, we had no excuse not to attend; and at $76 each it not expensive, in fact it was money well spent. We also though it prudent to do the course before we headed off on our adventure next year.
Granted if something were to happen to us while we were travelling, it’d be likely we’d both be in a bad way and would be reliant on others for assistance.
However, what if one of our group were to be cleaned up by a ‘roo, or if we came across a banged up bike on the side of the road?
We could administer some first-aid, sure I’ve done a first aid course outside of the one presented by Tracy and Roger, but we’d have had no clue on how to manage the scene, what to look out for, or how and if we should remove a helmet.
The course run by Tracy and Roger who are both professional trainers. This fast paced short course of about 4 hours, is developed specifically for motorcycle riders covering topics including:
- Motorcyclists specific action plan – D.R.S.A.B.C.
- CPR, complete with practice on manikin’s
- Accident scene management
- Emergency helmet removal
- Moving a casualty (away from danger)
- Moving and standing up a heavy bike
- Shock, fractures and burns
- Wounds, bleeding and bandaging
- Head neck and spinal injuries
- Hypo and hyperthermia
- Accident & Injury Prevention
The part about removing a helmet was of particular interest to me. I’d always been told that you should never remove a helmet as it could cause, or aggravate an injury. I learned that although this is true in most cases, there are times when the helmet simply has to come off, and that if it absolutely has to come off there is a very specific way to do it.
They also covered accident scene management and how to secure an area so that the patient and the first responder don’t get run over by passing traffic.
This would be common sense to most people, but apparently there have been incidents where instead of one casualty there have been two because the first responder was struck by passing traffic while attending to a casualty.
There are little tidbits of information offered right through the course too, like: Don’t assume that there is one bike one rider: What if there was a pillion on board, where is the pillion?
In all we found the course to be very informative and personally, I would urge all riders to at least do a first aid course, and if possible do sometime more specific to motorcyclists like the one offered by Tracy and Roger.
Put your hand in your pocket and do a first aid course. The life you save may be some one you love.
NB: I have no affiliation with First Aid For Motorcyclists other than the fact that The Pillion and I have enrolled in, and have completed the course of our own volition.