First-aid training helps save man’s life
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | August 10, 2017|
Owen Trefry was first on scene of a serious motorcycle accident in Highlands East last week. And while he ultimately helped saved the victim’s life, Trefry, who isn’t a first responder, has been thinking about all the things he could have done differently.
The Aug. 2 accident was on Highway 118 near Essonville Line, almost the exact same spot where a major collision left an Uxbridge couple dead last month. “I wish I had controlled the scene more and told some of the people who stopped to do certain things to help me … but even by calling 911 I think I saved his life,” Trefry said. There were two people on the motorcycle, Haliburton Highlands OPP said.
Both were transported to Haliburton hospital. One was later taken to Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, hospital staff told The Highlander. The second was released from Haliburton.
He has undergone surgery and is slowly recovering, says Trefry, who spoke to the victim Tuesday afternoon over the phone. Police have not released any additional information about the status of the second rider or the circumstances of the accident.
The Highlander attempted to contact the victim in Lindsay Tuesday, but was told by hospital staff he was unavailable. The victim was pinned beneath the motorcycle, said Trefry, until a passerby stopped to help lift the bike off his lower body. Trefry quickly retrieved a first-aid kit from his truck and began to apply pressure on a serious wound on the victim’s calf.
He also helped secure his head with a blanket. That is when the man who helped lift the bike, suddenly left. “I don’t know why he left, maybe he didn’t like blood,” said Trefry.
“It was gruesome … there was nothing on his calf … you could see right through his leg,” he said. For nearly 20 minutes, Trefry continued to apply pressure on the wound and encouraged the second rider, who Trefry found out was the victim’s girlfriend, to keep talking to the victim.
When first responders arrived, Trefry was asked if he was okay. “I said I was fine, even though I really wasn’t,” he said. “I was trying to remain calm the entire time.” Knowing first-aid and CPR are valuable tools that can save a person’s life, said Tim Waite, director and chief of Haliburton County Paramedic Service.
But if someone isn’t trained in first-aid, and they come across a serious accident, the best thing they can do is call 911, stand back, and keep the victim or victims still. “Don’t do anything beyond what you’re trained to do,” Waite said.
“Take deep breaths, in through your nose and out through the mouth, and then take what you know and do what you can.” When first responders arrive on scene, Waite said people should calmly inform them of the training they have and wait for instructions.
“Quite often, if someone knows CPR, we’ll get them to do the chest compressions, because that frees up our hands to do something else,” he said.
First-aid standard certification courses are available at the Haliburton School of Art and Design throughout the year.
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.