Employees help in road accident


Employees at St John Ambulance National Headquarters, London, recently demonstrated how to be the difference by being first on the scene at a road accident.

Quick to act

Staff observed a road traffic collision between a motor scooter rider and a car from their office windows outside the NHQ building in St Johns Street on 9 June. St John Ambulance first aider John Newman together with Alan Plastine and Clive James attended the scene.

The rider had been thrown from his scooter and they ascertained that his airway was clear and that he was breathing. Having observed the damage to the car from the impact, the St John team immediately implemented the procedure for protecting his neck – the cervical spine immobilization procedure. Two London Ambulance Service motor cycle paramedics and an ambulance were quickly on scene and the St John staff worked together with them to prepare and load the patient.

Being aware of your surroundings

There have been several serious accidents at this busy London junction and the St John Ambulance team is generally quick to act. In situations like this it is always important to be sure that helpers are safe – not only from other traffic which flows on around the accident but also from such things as broken headlamp glass. If they are on their own, helpers will have to give priority to life threatening conditions, ignoring other injuries for the time being.

First aid for motorcyclists

Motor cyclists can be particularly vulnerable to this type of accident and it’s important to check very quickly that their airway is clear and that they are breathing. This should be done whilst keeping their head as still as possible and keeping their crash helmet in place unless it is threatening their breathing.

Provided they are breathing their head can be kept still by kneeling or lying behind their head, resting your elbows on the ground to keep yourself steady and grasping each side of their head, spreading your hands and fingers to give good support until the ambulance service team tell you they are ready to take over. They may ask you to continue with the immobilization whilst they are examining the person and performing treatment procedures so make sure you are in a comfortable position and don’t have to move.

While you wait for the ambulance to arrive – keep talking with the injured rider and checking on his breathing. If he stops, you will have to get his helmet off, open his airway and do CPR.