Mark Beluscak, Lead Instructor Accident Scene Management
Motorcycle safety is a subject some of us in the motorcycle community take very seriously. I remember approximately a year and a half ago I was on a long motorcycle round trip out to the Kansas City area and back. I do not remember who I was riding with, but we were on the way back on Westbound Hwy 36 near Last Chance. A member of our group riding near the back probably fell asleep or was blinded by the setting sun. The group leader was not keeping a steady pace and as the rest of us were slowing, he did not. He came up through the middle of the pack going at least 50 miles an hour. He glanced a friend of mine but solidly hit his own wife riding near the front of the group. Her bike went off into the ditch on the right side of the road and she landed solidly on the pavement. I was the second to last motorcycle and to my horror, I saw the entire thing.
In this situation, would you be ready and willing to help your fellow motorcyclist? There IS a class you can take that tells you what to do if you are at the scene of a motorcycle accident before EMS arrives. Accident Scene Management 100, presented through local instructors (like me) prepares you for these situations. The training includes such topics as how to perform rescue breathing without moving the injured party and helmet removal only when necessary.
Let’s get back to the reason for this article. When the accident happened, several people came by to offer assistance. One of these people was a local EMT who professed to know a lot about motorcycle accidents, and I initially welcomed his help while we waited for EMS to arrive. Almost immediately he began to suggest we move the injured party into his vehicle and give her water and a snack. I remembered from my training that we give NOTHING to an injured party prior to EMS arrival in the way of food or water. If there are injuries requiring surgery, food or water in the stomach can complicate this. Also, we NEVER move an injured party prior to EMS arrival unless necessary (to get them away from more danger like a burning motorcycle). IF there are serious injuries present and we move an injured party, then we have probably made those injuries worse. I was able to politely tell this volunteer EMT that we shouldn’t do these things and luckily, he agreed. In the end we were ALL lucky because my friend was NOT seriously hurt. Both bikes were totaled but both my friend and her husband are riding again! Fortunately, we were all wearing our helmets and leathers.
Accident Scene Management 100, CPR and First Aid are all being offered through the Rocky Mountain Public Safety Training Group (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are interested in taking any one of these classes I would love to hear from you. The classes can be offered at your location or one can be arranged.
To review and prior to EMS arrival …
- Do not move injured parties unless it is necessary to prevent further injury.
- Give injured parties nothing by mouth including water.
-Mark Beluscak has served the public as a firefighter, EMT, and other public safety professions. He is an active rider in his local chapter of the Harley Owners Group (Mile High 3615) and Blue Knights (CO1). He has a bachelor’s degree in education and loves to teach. When not teaching classes, he rides his 2018 Harley Davidson Road King which has provided Mark nearly 20,000 miles of wind therapy.