Posted on Mar 20, 2014

Many of you are familiar with Accident Scene Management (ASM) which teaches bystanders what to do at the scene of a motorcycle crash until professional help arrives. Hupy and Abraham, S.C. has been a financial supporter of this program since its inception in 1996. What you might not know is besides the Basic and Advanced classes, ASM also teaches a Professional Series class for EMT's, Firefighters and Law Enforcement.

ASM was invited to teach the professional class at the 32 Annual Emergency Services Conference held at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Vicki and Tony Sanfelipo taught emergency professionals on Friday, March 14th and Saturday, March 15th at the college.  There were numerous Fire Service workshops running all day from Thursday through Saturday at WITC, and  EMS classes including  Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, Wilderness Skills for Outdoor Responders and Introduction to Tactical EMS. The Tactical EMS class was taught by one of Vicki's Road Guardian members, Richard Tyler, NREMT, Senior Patrol Agent for U.S. Border Patrol, Tactical Paramedic and K-9 Trainer and Instructor.  Agent Tyler registered to take ASM's professional class, Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash, and told the instructors afterward that he thoroughly enjoyed the class.                                                                                                                                     Accident Scene Management attendees paying attention                                        

When teaching professionals, Vicki and Tony do not spend time on medical assessment or treatment, because it's assumed the EMT's already know those things. There are some refresher aspects to the class though. Jaw Thrust Rescue Breathing is reviewed and practiced by the students because traditional head-tilt/chin lift techniques for a non-breathing patient isn't ideal for a trauma victim with suspected spine injuries. Students practice that skill as well as ventilation with a bag valve mask.

Another skill reviewed and practiced is removal of a full face helmet. Surprisingly, many EMT's do not receive much training regarding helmet removal. Vicki is working on procuring funding to proceed with a helmet removal study with the Medical College of Wisconsin as well as refining Emergency Dispatch protocols regarding non-breathers wearing a full face helmet.

Another popular part of the Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash program is the motorcycle lab. Students learn how to look at a motorcycle for clues when assessing for injuries and what parts on a motorcycle could injure a rescuer. There is also a practice session on lifting the motorcycle to help extricate a patient.  Accident Scene Management huddled around bikeStudents take turns lifting an admittedly lightweight motorcycle, but technique is the point, not strength. In the case of a heavyweight motorcycle, our firefighter students offered tips on how they would lift or partially lift a cycle to remove an injured person from beneath it.

The class ends with a Psycho-Social portion that always holds the students spellbound. AMS endeavors to teach responders to a motorcycle crash that riders come from all walks of life and popular TV shows do not depict what real life riders are like. Besides describing the many types of riders, from everyday enthusiasts to hard core motorcycle club members, the class explains why riders act the way they do at a scene (like refusing to allow you to cut their leathers) and how to talk with riders to achieve success in treating your patient. The best way to invite a confrontation at a bike crash is to treat riders differently than any other patient, because they're not.  When ASM teaches riders in the Basic and Advanced classes, it teaches  why EMS and Law Enforcement act the way they do at a crash scene. The ultimate goal of this portion of the class is to help avoid unecessary problems at a crash scene.

ABATE of Wiscnsin attendees in sessionASM wishes to thank Betty Shaffer, Traffic Safety Manager at WITC for her help in coordinating the class registrations and for providing two motorcycles from the fleet used by WITC for the Beginners Rider Course there.

ASM has taught the Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash at numerous EMS conferences in Wisconsin and other states and at various fire departments in Wisconsin.


Tony Sanfelipo
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Senior Motorcycle Accident Investigator