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Bikers Lives Matter

Tony “Pan” Sanfelipo, retired EMT - Accident Investigator
Hupy & Abraham, S.C. - Motorcycle case specialist

Recent events at Waco brought a profound response from many in the motorcycle community. Likewise, motorcycle clubs and bikers’ gatherings at charity events have garnered more than their share of police scrutiny, profiling and interference. Some of the outcry proclaimed, “bikers’ lives matter.” I couldn’t agree more, but I find myself considering another problem we face as bikers: prolonged response times to medical and trauma emergencies.Motorcycle Crash

The American Heart Association developed a “Chain of Survival” when considering responses to emergencies, especially cardiac in nature. That chain has distinct links, each adding to the overall strength and effectiveness of the entire chain. The four links are early access, early intervention, early EMS (Emergency Medical Service) and early advanced life support.

Reports and studies have applauded the improvement of the EMS, starting with large dispatch centers, better-trained and equipped technicians, new and advanced ambulances and the increased availability of medical air-transport helicopter services. These improvements and advancements continue to be extolled in the studies, resulting in more monies becoming available to purchase the latest innovations in emergency medicine.

The problem I have with studies is the fact they can be manipulated to portray a certain desired outcome. For instance, reporting a dramatic improvement in outcomes in emergency situations, then equating those outcomes to the above advancements, could be misleading if the studies are conducted in major metropolitan areas. Larger cities can afford highly trained paramedic services, level one trauma centers and enjoy a 5-to 8-minute response time to get that help to an injured person. Couple that with a 5- to-10 minute transport to the trauma center and outcomes can be anticipated to be the best that could be expected.

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ASM student uses skills learned in Sandy Hook, CT to help in Manhattan crash

E-mail received by ASM Certified Lead Instructor Megan Posey, CT on 9/26/15

Dear Megan:
A year has gone by since my ASM Basic Class training at the Sandy Hook Fire Dept. I walked away with new knowledge, some practice, and a clearer understanding of how I can help in the event of an accident. Since then, I have acquired a rather fat first aid kit, Motorcycleloaded with an assortment of aids, and have promoted ASM education within my motorcycling community. I also became a member of the Road Guardians to support ASM training. However, it was not until three weeks ago that the knowledge you taught me would be tested in the real world.

About 11:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night I was leading a group of five bikes in Manhattan. We headed north on the FDR when I and another rider lost control due to an oil slick in the middle lane. I managed to control my bike, but, unfortunately, my friend Don and his wife were not as fortunate. Thankfully, there was no collision with any other vehicle, but the scene was quite unsafe as we were in the middle of a highway, where speeds of 50+ mph are not uncommon.

Seeing that they were down, and Don's wife was on the ground, I safely parked my bike and rushed to them, gathering fellow riders along the way. I quickly ascertained that Don's wife was conscious, but in pain. I quickly checked for blood trails, and not finding any, I asked for her name and date... a few quick and easy particulars to make sure she was coherent. I called for two people to block the two right lanes about 40 yards out so that they could be seen from a far by oncoming vehicles. This slowed down the traffic and pushed it safely around us, keeping Don's wife out of harm's way.

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