For years I have seen biker down courses advertised, I know people who have completed it and couldn’t praise it high enough. Having not done any first aid training before I thought it useful for me to get a course under my belt. I didn’t know what to expect; was it going to be a full-on gorefest bloodbath or just a coffee morning.
Pioneered by Kent Fire and Rescue service in 2011, the biker down concept sees more regions taking up the training. Passing on the essential knowledge and information to any motorcyclist.
The free course offers skills to bikers to avoid an accident, as well as first aid training in the event of an accident. With statistics showing the first person on the scene in the event of a bike accident is likely to be another biker. Possibly due to riding in groups or travelling on popular biking roads.
The three-hour course breaks down with an hour on scene management, an hour on casualty care and the last hour on rider skills.
The first section was taken a serving West Mercia police officer and explained accident scene management. He explained what to do if you come across an accident and providing information on how to keep both casualties and assistors safe, and how to prepare for the emergency services when they arrive.
Coming from a traffic police officer, imparting their wisdom on how to manage people effectively was very useful. Also, techniques on how to block roads to other users if required, and also how to inform emergency services efficiently are fascinating to know.
The second section came from a West Midlands Ambulance paramedic, who also works on the Air ambulance. He took us through basic motorcycle related first aid procedures such as the correct way to remove a helmet, hands-on how to correctly administer CPR, clearing airways and tips for helping to stem bleeding. There was a demonstration on defibrillator use as these fantastic pieces of kit are becoming more commonplace. How to assess the patient and administer basic aid until Ambulance crews arrive was also featured.
The last section was from representatives from local IAM and ROSPA groups and revolved around ways for bikers to make themselves more visible to other road users. The science of being seen covers use of Hi-Vis clothing, vehicle lighting and positioning that can all help increase the chances of being seen by other motorists. There is a lessened chance of a SMIDSY accident, if you are more visible to other road users.
It would be wrong for me to pass on the information given, as I am not qualified to do so. I can’t recommend this course highly enough. Every biker should do it. After doing it I feel much more confident in what to do, and if I were ever involved in an accident, I would want people who know what to do as opposed to guessing.
It’s a free course that takes just a morning. The information learned could save a life. Why wouldn’t you do it?
As well as the wealth of information passed on, attendees receive a first aid bag useful for carrying in a pannier or under the seat (if you have space), some courses also have the green dot crash cards or the new plastic self-adhesive style available to fill in.