Participants in Sunday’s ‘Crash Course for the Motorcyclist’ learn a technique for moving an injured rider off the road for safety reasons. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Instructor Kris ‘Blinky’ Hinson discusses the contents of suggested trauma packs for riders to carry with them. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Attorneys Eva Blazejewski, right and Heather Hansen from the New Mexico Biker Lawyers, which is a division of Roadrunner Law Firm in Albuquerque, chat with class participants Sunday Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
More than 25 riders from Los Alamos County spent the day Sunday in a seven-hour Accident Scene Management class called “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist” aimed at reducing the injuries and fatalities to motorcyclists. The class was taught by Kris “Blinky” Hinson, BSN, RN, a motorcyclist herself, who runs Riders to the Rescue and specializes in accident scene management. The event was coordinated by Richard Sturgeon, president of the Jemez Riders Riding Club and was held at the Elk’s Lodge.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics indicate that motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and five times more likely to be injured. Saturday’s class was not designed to teach motorcycle safety issues but instead focused on management of a crash scene. The class was sponsored by attorneys Eva Blazejewski and Heather Hansen from the New Mexico Biker Lawyers which is a division of Roadrunner Law Firm in Albuquerque.
The Los Alamos Reporter attended the first half of the course which addressed skills that would benefit anyone who arrived at the scene of a crash involving a cyclist or motorcyclist or even a pedestrian. Participants first learned how to prevent further injury at the scene, which includes not hurting yourself while trying to help someone else, having someone take charge of the scene, moving uninvolved vehicles completely off the road, leaving room for emergency vehicles on either side of the crash, making people and the crash site visible, and controlling traffic.
Practicalities like moving and handling the motorcycle and moving an injured person were discussed in depth along with extensive hands on activities related to keeping the head, neck and spine straight. Participants learned how to do a quick assessment of a crash scene, to determine potential injuries and their severity to pass that information to emergency medical services. They learned how to best communicate with the 911 dispatcher and gather information while waiting for help to arrive.
Treating the injured with life-sustaining care at the scene was a particularly important part of the course because many motorcycle crashes occur in more remote areas. The skills learned could be used in any traumatic situation and included ensuring that the airway is clear, performing a rapid head-to-toe assessment, checking for breathing, if necessary performing rescue breathing, checking for significant bleeding, assessing and treating the person for shock and assisting with spinal motion restriction.
Blazejewski and Hansen discussed insurance and power of attorney issues with the group as well as the importance of having information such as vehicle identification number, license number, make and model of bike, vehicle insurance information, health insurance information, etc. in one place and making sure that someone other than the person you normally ride with has that information.
Participants received a certificate of completion and are now eligible to take Advanced Bystander Assistance within two years. It is strongly recommended to that they take CPR and a motorcycle safety course to round out their education.
Watch the Los Alamos Reporter for news of future offerings of the class in the Los Alamos area. To contact Riders to the Rescue, call (520) 370-1904. To contact New Mexico Bike Lawyers, call (505) 444-4321. For more information on the Jemez Riders, go to JemezRiders.com.
Toni Chiri pivots a classmate’s head to in line position during a scenario at Sunday’s class. Courtesy photo
Jemez Riders president Richard Sturgeon, who organized the event, chats with attorney Heather Hansen of Roadrunner Law Firm. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Harlow family members, from left, Linda, Bradley, Patrick and Cameron were in Sunday’s class. Courtesy photo
Participants get ready to slide an ‘rider’ during Sunday’s class. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Jemez Riders president Richard Sturgeon, left, chats with Ernst Esch, center, and his son Roland at Sunday’s class. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com