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The one taboo phrase that plagues the biker world is "Biker Down!".

In nursing school, they don't really teach you what to do at an accident, and then I discovered the ‘Accident Scene Management/Road Guardians’ courses.

By Dmac with photography by Rogue
6/3/2014


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Dmac demonstrating the safe way to remove a full face helmet after an accident.
Dmac demonstrating the safe way to remove a full face helmet after an accident.

 
This is where it starts, we've lost so many through the years, brothers and sisters in the wind, and it seems as we get older, there are so many more that quickly take the route to the silent highway.
 
 
I can remember Christmas day, 2006 - by 8am I had received two phone calls that friends had gone down in separate accidents, and were gone.  Those calls, and the many others through the years, have left the heart scarred.
 
July, 2013 was the 4th close call for me. I was lying in a hospital bed after a really freaky mishap, and to this day I only remember a fishtail and my face smacking the handlebars. I was not even sure if I blacked out for a few seconds.  I wasn't drunk, and was going about 25 mph on a straight road.  It was a nice sunny day, and I had many miles logged in before this, probably 160,000 plus over the years.  I have replayed the whole scene over and over since then, and all I could think was, "I don't need this shit right now!"
 
Students learning the jaw thrust maneuver to protect the spine while opening the airway.
Students learning the jaw thrust maneuver to protect the spine while opening the airway.

 
 
A lady stopped in her truck to help and I asked her to head back down the road and get a friend to come help.  A few minutes later he showed up and took me to the hospital since I had a gaping wound over my eye and the usual road rash.  As a nurse, I was in denial, I didn't need to get checked out, but then I was forced to look in the mirror.  I was banged up, and pretty lucky, I thought.
 
When I got to the hospital and was sent to CT scan they found a subarachnoid bleed (brain), and as luck would have it, no neurosurgeon was on duty in the small rural hospital. So, they decided a two hour ambulance ride to the local trauma center would not suffice, they had to airlift me.
 
I felt like a total dumbass, but off to the big city hospital I went, where I had a MRI, observation, and was sent home with a fractured orbit (eye socket), sutures on face and chin, road rash and wounded pride.  My guardian angel was definitely looking out for me July 7th!  I was so lucky!
 
Vicki Sanfelipo demonstrating how to safely move an injured person.
Vicki Sanfelipo demonstrating how to safely move an injured person.

 
 
While I was lying around in the hospital, I kept thinking about the past, how many accidents I've been involved in, or had come upon while riding, and how I felt so helpless when I got there. The one that comes to mind the most was the one on a local interstate, on our way to Daytona, about 7 years ago.  We were cruising along in the fast lane at about 80, when the traffic slowed quickly, we dropped down to 45 due to an accident up ahead and my front wheel started to violently shake, front flat. I managed to get Fringe (FLHPI) pulled over to the median barrier and just happened to glance out of the corner of my eye and there goes a crotch rocket tucked up under an SUV complete with rider, being dragged down the Interstate. 
 
Students practicing How to safely move an injured person.
Students practicing How to safely move an injured person.

 

The driver of the SUV had no clue that she was dragging the bike.  The guys I was with had to flag her down and when she finally slowed, the rider broke free and rolled to the barrier.  He was covered in Kevlar and had a full face helmet on.  With my heart pounding, just from trying to get my scoot under control and then seeing this really jacked my adrenaline to high octane as I ran over to him. 

I was lucky when another woman came running up, said she was a nurse but was an OB (obstetrics/baby) nurse and didn't quite know what to do. So there we sat, two educated nurses without emergency training.   We could work a "code” in a hospital but weren't sure where to start on the victim, we've always been told don't touch the helmet.
 
Students learning how to safely remove a full face helmet after an accident.
Students learning how to safely remove a full face helmet after an accident.

 
ABC's, CPR, First aid basics, all the training we had was cloudy in the background!   The truck driver behind me had witnessed everything. He brought out a pair of scissors, and we cut the rider's backpack off and opened the shield on his helmet and lucky for us he was breathing, but not awake, alert or oriented.  That rider was a lucky survivor!
 
In nursing school, they don't teach you what to do at an accident scene as they tell you to leave that to the EMT’s or the Paramedics.  Nurses are taught to Assess, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate.  The nursing process is based on practices or theories that are taught in the nursing school curriculum. So while we could help the victim, we still felt like helpless victims ourselves, a crucial gap in emergent care, that neither of us was previously aware of.
 
Dmac - newly certified as a Florida Instructor.
Dmac - newly certified as a Florida Instructor.

 
 
Ok, lately, it’s been a rough couple of years; I am just recovering from 4 deaths in my family in 8 months.  I lost my fiancée suddenly, then my dad after 9 months of illness, my brother’s daughter (11) in a house fire, and my ex-mother in law.  Then my dogs, one to old age, one to leukemia, and one to bone cancer.  I was trying to decide where life was going, after so much death, or what direction I wanted it to go in.  Well, I guess you could say this new chapter started where the death chapter ended!
 
Then a friend tells me about a course being taught in Florida for instructors. And he says, since you are a nurse, "its right up your alley!!!!"
 
Dmac demonstrating how to safely remove a full face helmet.
Dmac demonstrating how to safely remove a full face helmet.

 
 
So after checking out the website and getting more information on the organization I decided to register.   After all the years, the gap was about to be bridged by the Accident Scene Management/Road Guardians!
 
Dmac demonstrating how to remove a full face helmet after an accident.
Dmac demonstrating how to remove a full face helmet after an accident.

 
 
There are different levels of instructor:
Lead Instructors are those that have medical training, i.e. EMT or higher (RN/LPN, Paramedic, ARNP, etc.)  They must be present if the instructor doesn’t have medical training or credentials.
 
Assistant instructors must be motorcyclists but do not require medical training.
 
In order to become an instructor one has to be a motorcyclist, plain and simple.  
    
A course refresher is mandatory to maintain Instructor status and is taken every 2 years.
 
All instructors must pay the fees and take the 30 hour course.
 
Once completed, it allows you to teach the 5 courses that ASM (Accident Safety Management) offers:
  1. “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist”**
  2. “Advanced Bystander Assistance”**
  3. “Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash”**
  4.   Basic Refresher
  5.   Advanced Refresher
**CE's are offered for medical professionals.
 
You are required to teach 2 classes a year minimum. 
 
Vicki Sanfelipo teaching the class.
Vicki Sanfelipo teaching the class.

 
The course was developed by Vicki Sanfelipo, RN/EMT - who had had similar roadside experiences as a nurse, but really didn't know what to do at the accident scene even with nurses training.  Taking information from a class she had taken on motorcycle safety, and completing an EMT course, she developed this class in 1996 and began teaching it in 1997. In 10 years time, the course has grown to 140+ Instructors and has now gone international in four countries! Amazing!
 
 
Rogue posing as a crash victim
Rogue posing as a crash victim

 
 
I want to bring this information to the local biker community and beyond.  My goal is to have someone that has taken this course, use this information to help save a life.  Its critical time that goes by before EMS arrives at an accident scene.  I have had firsthand experiences of being somewhere where I was doing CPR and it took 45 minutes to get a helicopter to the scene.  Your hands are tied with what you can do, but you can educate people on the basics and hope to enhance the survival rate of the accident victim.  My wish is that we all have time to ride and remain safe, upright, and on two (or three!) wheels!
 
Peace,
Ride safe, ride free....
Dmac
 
 
A little bit about Dmac:
I have been riding my own since 1999, and, like most have logged a lot of years and miles on the back. My happiest time in life is with my granddaughters, and when I'm in the wind. The back country roads through America, in this great country of ours, are my favorite.  One of my goals in life is to ride the back roads in every state (I have 7 left) and then venture on to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
 
I've been a licensed practical nurse for 24 years working in areas of Med-Surg, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Cardiology/Anticoagulation Therapy.   I have been taking pre-requisite courses toward my RN over the years, and raising the kids, helped with our garage, and finally was set to go to college and finish my degree in August 2003. I was accepted, everything completed, and ready to start the "bridge to RN" program full time. And suddenly, I end up divorced after 20 years of marriage, so much for my plan. I kept the house and had to work full time, and school ended up being put on the back burner yet again!  UGH!!!
 
Then I found a way and it's taken me 10 years, but I should be finishing my RN by years end, 2014!
 
And now I have found the way I can give back and pay it forward.  By passing along vital information to others in the biker community about those first critical minutes until EMS arrives!  I bridged the gap after all this time!  Through the years, motorcycle rights and awareness/safety, has been my passion and still is, but this brings it full circle!
 
 
Click for website
Click for website

 
The Road Guardians Program was created to support Motorcycle Trauma Training education as a critical element to outcomes should a crash occur. Road Guardians is a nationally branded program that supports Accident Scene Management’s Mission to Reduce Injuries and fatalities to Motorcyclists. The program provides Resources, Rewards and Recognition to those who are properly trained and properly licensed. We encourage motorcyclists to be “lifelong learners” by providing resources and opportunity as well.
 
Through Road Guardians we not only are able to connect to our safety minded riders, feeding them safety information, but we are also able to support an area of motorcycle safety often forgotten. training specific to motorcycle crashes is imperative for all motorcyclists and trained rescuers. In order for the best possible outcome we need to focus on preventing a crash from occurring in the first place, and then preparing for proper response in the event a crash occurs. Through the Road Guardians Program we highlight six areas of motorcycle safety in which any motorcyclist can take personal responsibility to get educated.
 
Click for more information
Click for more information

 
For more information Click here - Bystander Assistance
 
ASMI – What It Is
Accident Scene Management, Incorporated (ASMI) is the leading international motorcycle trauma training association. We teach bystanders and EMTs what to do in order to prevent injuries and fatalities to motorcyclists.
Vicki Sanfelipo
Vicki Sanfelipo

 
 
Vicki SanfelipoLead Instructor, RN/EMT - ASMI Director/Lead Instructor/Instructor Trainer/ASMI Board Chairperson.
 
Vicki is the Author of “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist”. She established the non-profit organization Accident Scene Management, Inc. in 1996 in order to reduce injuries and fatalities to motorcyclists through First Response training. She acts as Director of ASMI yet today. Vicki worked for over 25 years in a variety of settings throughout the hospital from Critical Care to the Operating Room. She spent 8 years working as an educator at Waukesha Memorial Hospital for the Department of Surgery. She become an EMT in 1999 to better connect ASMI training to the EMS.
 
Vicki teaches CPR, Defibrillators, and First Aid for the American Heart Association. She has been riding her own motorcycle for over 25 years and has completed the MSF’s Experienced Rider Course. She is a life member of A.B.A.T.E. of Wisc., Charter Member Central Wisc. H.O.G. & member of Kettle Moraine H.O.G., Motorcycle Riders Foundation, BOLT, Patriot Guard, St. Croix Valley Riders, The Iron Butt Association, the American Motorcyclist Association & Road Guardians.
 
You can contact Vicki here:  vicki@accidentscene.org or 262-706-3278
 
Students learning how to safely remove a full face helmet after an accident.
Students learning how to safely remove a full face helmet after an accident.

 
 
 

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Reader Comments


It's good that there are people being trained for what is constantly referred as 'accidents'. More often than not, there has been some idiot who decided to crash into a bike for whatever reason. In many cases, it is clearly inattentiveness on the part of the car driving person who was the root cause of the crash. There ain't anything 'accidental' about it.

It is a fine article, however...

Cap'n Bill
Nun, TN
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Editor Response Distracted drivers account for more than 50 percent of all accidents.
--Bandit

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