Don’t learn first aid by accident

First Aid for Motorcyclists
We wear safety gear, but do we have first aid skills?

Today was not such a good day. Most of it went splendidly, but none of the good stuff cleared the cloud from seeing a rider in front of me crash.

She went wide on a corner, rode well to avoid several obstacles but couldn’t fit under the billboard planted solidly in the corner’s run-off area. The bike went under; she didn’t. The impact was horrible to see. It was so bad it tore off her helmet, despite it being fastened properly.

She’s in hospital now and she’ll be OK, but it’ll be a while till she’s better.

I drew on all my memories of first aid, realising I need to do a top-up or reminder course. You don’t use those skills very often so they get rusty, but emergencies like this do happen and if you’re the one who’s not up to dealing with it, how are you going to feel afterwards?

Fate put me on the spot and I had to deal with it. Fortunately, the people around me did the right thing, which in this case mostly meant doing what was asked of them rather than doing the wrong thing with good intentions.

If any of them did have first aid skills, they kept it to themselves — and I hope that’s because I was doing as good a job as they could have. I’d have been very relieved if someone with greater knowledge had taken over!

Just as we never choose to be the victim of a crash, we don’t choose to be there at a critical moment for someone else. We wear the gear in case we’re the victim, but what about if we’re the first aider? The one who an injured rider has to rely on?

First Aid for Motorcyclists courses are being held across much of Australia in the coming months, as we reported. Have you signed up?

I can promise you that you won’t regret doing it. But you might regret not doing it.

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