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Skills used on Iron Butt Ride

Written to Trina Michaelis – ASM certified instructor in Idaho, by Crystal Sverdsten  
Road Guardian's   2/2/2016  BLOG

I had to use a few ASM skills on our big ride last weekend for a lady who rolled her truck in the opposite lanes just as we were approaching - She was pinned in her truck, upside down and it took over half an hour for EMS to get there - There wasn't a lot we could do, but I made sure there wasn't anyone else with her, checked her for bleeding and feeling in her extremities, got her calmed down and talking as best she could. I tried to get vitals and info to give to First Responders - It was seriously scary stuff for us! Anyway, that got me really thinking about how long it's been since our class.

Unfortunately, we had to leave her 'hanging' -for nearly 40 minutes - That's what made it so scary! - We saw her drift into the median and then she over corrected right onto the shoulder, where she flipped over twice and landed upside down. We pulled over and I immediately checked traffic and ran across the divided highway, taking my helmet off on the way.

I reached the truck and saw that the cab was crushed, so I climbed around to the passenger side where I got on the ground to see in the window. I could see the woman, upside down, screaming to help her get out. I told I was there and would try to help. I asked her if anyone else was with her - She said "No." (Thank God because the back seat was completely crushed from seat to roof!) I told her I wasn't leaving, I just needed to make sure help was coming and I asked my husband, who had followed me over, if the truck was stable or leaking - He said it looked OK, so I told him to make sure 911 was called and I belly-crawled into the cab. I asked her for her name, made sure she could breathe, did a visual check for bleeding and told her I was going to touch her feet and hands and asked if she could feel me touching her - which she said she could. I asked her where she was hurting, but she wasn't sure. She was still panicking about wanting out, so I had to tell her, very firmly in my mom voice, (which I hope is both firm and reassuring?) that yes, she could breathe, she was OK, we were getting some help to get her out and that I needed her to be as still as possible and take long slow breaths with me.

She had all of her weight that wasn't supported by her seatbelt, on her neck and shoulders with her head kinked to the side on the ceiling and the steering wheel and dash preventing her feet from reaching the floor - Her side of the cab was almost completely crushed with only about 3-4 inches of light showing through her window. The center console/ armrest of her bench seat had flipped up and was wedged at an angle against the ceiling. She was very effectively pinned. Since she was breathing and not visibly bleeding - and without any way to immobilize her head and neck, there just wasn't any way to move her without risking further injury. So we waited for the guys with the right tools and I did what I could to try to keep her from panicking or going too deeply into shock too fast.

At one point a man came up and said he was a doctor, so I got out to let him in, but then he got out about a minute later and said we'd just have to wait for the EMTs - (He just asked her where she was hurt - She said she didn't know - and then told her he was going to get help...???)

By then my husband had found a hammer and he was able to pry the passenger door open, so I got back in and kept reassuring her that I was with her, she was OK and that it wouldn't be much longer. She was really scared and kept begging me not to leave. I just kept a hold on her hand and would occasionally rub her arm or leg and make sure she could feel me and after asking her a question," Are you married?" "Do you have kids?" "Where are you heading?" I'd try count her heart beats at her wrist or count her breaths and listen for wheezing while she answered. She would start to panic every few minutes about not being able to move or she would start to hyperventilate and say she couldn't breathe. I had to remind her that she could breathe, take long slow breaths with her and assure her that we would get her out in just a few more minutes. It helped to find things that were funny, like waiting "until the hot fire fighters" showed up or about how we're both the same age, "too old". I apologized several times because I wouldn't take her seat belt off - it appeared to be the only thing keeping all of her weight off of her head and neck.

My husband had directed people to move their vehicles and had to stop people from trying to "help" by trying to flip her truck back over or trying to remove the entire seat or just try to drag her out.

When the paramedics arrived I told her I was going to get out so they could get in to help her - She didn't want to let go of my hand, but I reassured her that she was going to be OK, she had some REAL help there now and they were going to get her out real quick and then I got out as the EMTs reached the truck - I relayed her status and all of the info I could remember that might help them assess her, while they were figuring out the best way to reach her - They were going to have to wait for cutting tools.

So we left our contact info with the Sheriff, crossed back over to our bikes and continued on our ride. A minute or two later, I remembered we were trying to finish our Bun Burner 1500 Iron Butt ride and we only had about an hour to finish, (I had literally forgotten!) I thought we might miss the 4:00 deadline, but when we arrived at our last stop to have our ride witness forms signed, we had made it with 20 minutes to spare!

Have you taken and ASM class? Do you know how to help if you are needed? Learn how to be a Good Samaritan by completing ASM training.

                     April Column        Planning Ahead               By:  Meridian Motor Officer Will Stoy

I talk to a lot of riders out there that just jump on their bike and ride as soon as the Sun God shines happily upon them. I am not opposed to this as I like to see as many motorcyclist on the road as possible. But have they planned ahead? What might the weather hold for the duration of the ride? Is there a chance of rain in the mountains? Will the temperature drop 15 degrees during my ride? Is it clear blue sunny skies all the way? Should I put on sunscreen? Will I or someone I am riding with be involved in a crash?

A lot of riders look at the weather and may ask all the questions above, but I bet most will forget the sunscreen. But how many riders ever think they or a riding buddy will be involved in a crash on this very ride? As a crash investigator, I can tell you that no one has ever told me they were planning on crashing their beautiful motorcycle today. Well guess what? Crashes happen.

So why not be prepared and plan for the crash with hopes it will never happen to you or your riding buddies. I held off on this column until I could take a course with many of my fellow Blue Knights called “Crash course for Motorcyclists”. This class is put on by Ride Safe Idaho. Their website is if you want to check it out. I want to give a shout out to instructors Trina Michaelis and Cindy Stephens for the excellent job they did. These riders have realized the first one on scene at a motorcycle crash will most likely be another motorcyclist. The instructors are both riders and teach this course from a rider's perspective. Obviously I can't give you the whole course right here in this column, but I can tell you it is a course you should take so you know what to do in the event of a crash.

Being a first responder I have taken countless first aid and CPR classes. This course teaches the rider how to keep the rider who has crashed alive until EMS can arrive on scene. Lets think about where we ride. We ride away from town where the roads and scenery are good. Unfortunately, this means in the event of a crash it could be a while before EMS arrives on scene. You will learn how and when to properly remove a helmet (hopefully you are wearing one in the first place). The course taught a method of rescue breathing for the injured motorcyclist that I have never been taught in all the first aid and CPR classes I have taken. The instructors for our course taught us ways to safely move a crashed rider out of harms way in order to render further aid. Many options for first aid kits are talked about and available for purchase. They have prepared first aid kits or individual items for purchase so you can build your own. I just want to say I was very pleased with the course and would recommend it to any rider. Who knows, it just might be my crash that you come upon and I would sure feel better knowing that you know what to do.

In closing I would like to add one more suggestion. In your pre-ride briefing, if you don't have one this is a good time to start, ask who has a first aid kit and where they carry it on their bike. From what I learned in the class it is universal that medical information is carried on the right side. So I am going to suggest that all first aid kits be carried in the right saddle bag.

Ride safe and plan ahead-----

W. Stoy

Road Captain—Blue Knights Idaho-1

When a loved one crashes right in front of you

Last modified on 2016-11-26     By Cindy Gagliano    From Road Guardians Website

[Dave Crash Picture] Because I work for Accident Scene Management and have taken the training, I realize how  important the classes are but one cannot truly appreciate the value of that information until they are faced with an accident that happens right before their eyes! I could not have anticipated that this would happen to me. On 9/11/16 while I was riding with my fiancée, Dave Heisler, a car passed us on our right as we were trying to make a right turn. Just a few feet in front of me I saw the person I love go flying threw the air. As the car hit him, he went one direction with his bike going in the opposite direction. The first thoughts in my mind were, “Stay calm and remember what you learned in Accident Scene Management. Remember PACT!!!! Prevent further Injury, Assess the Situation, Contact the EMS, then Treat the Injuries”. I actually remember thinking in detail, “Stop the bike, now put the kickstand down, and above all remain calm”.

The first thing Dave tried to do was to get up. Because he was not in danger of being run over, I immediately told him to get back down and don't move! I grabbed my phone, went to his side and called 911. I was able to describe exactly what happened and was able to tell the operator what I thought his injuries might be. He never lost unconsciousness (thank God) and was mostly complaining of leg pain. Almost immediately, an unknown man stopped and started to direct traffic. I could tell he knew what he was doing, so I left him alone but admit to being grateful that he was keeping us safe! Another women came over and gave us a blanket. The teenagers that were driving in the opposite direction and saw everything turned around and came back. I asked if they could stay and give a statement to the police which they agreed to. Another person went to check on the women in the car who hit Dave. We were fortunate that she had stayed at the scene and was cooperative! I still have questions on if I could have done anything different, but I think everything turned out the best that it possibly could under the circumstances. We lucked out and had the help of other good Samaritans, some who I had given directions to and others seemed to know what to do.

I am so grateful that I was prepared.      Will you know what to do if this happens to you????

To date ASM has been contacted by people in all 50 states and 8 countries regarding our life saving course: "A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist." After training over 40,000 students, ASM instructors have been honored to know the training works! We have received numerous reports from people who have used the information provided to them in the course in real life situations where they were able to assist at the scene of an crash. As hoped, bystanders have become a bridge between the time of the incident and the arrival of the trained professionals. Though some of the applications of knowledge gained in the program have surprised us (87% of students say they ride more carefully after taking the class) , every account has been positive and has confirmed to us that everyone should take the time to get this training.