Car Accident… Wilderness First Responder

Tonight I used my training in WFR for the first time in real life. I was driving home around 9:45PM when I heard a crash followed by a constant car horn noise – sure sign of a car accident. I was on Stapley Drive coming up on Broadway so I knew the accident had a potential to be big as speed limits were from 35 to 45 mph.

I looked around and saw some motionless cars in the road to my left. I was coming up to a red light so I turned right and did a u turn to drive towards the accident. It was then that I decided I would see if I could help. I drove around and parked by the store nearest the accident. I got out and people were already there looking at the scene. The first thing I did was assess the scene… a truck and a car was involved. Nobody was in the truck, and the car was empty except for one lady in the back right seat. Traffic had stopped so I walked into the street. She was crying but I could not see any blood. She was a Hispanic lady. The window by her head was busted out and the door frame was bent in. I walked around the car to the window to where she was and asked her if she was okay. She was screaming “get me out of here!” I saw blood running down her arm, but none on her head or face, so I knew the cut was on her arm (plus her arm was next to the broken glass which was a good indicator). Immediately I saw a guy reach in and grab her shoulders and drag her out of the car through the opposite door. Dang! He didn’t have head control! So I ran around to jump in and hold her head just as she came out of the car. The people laid her down right there and I kept holding her head. I knew she could breathe because she was talking and asking if her son was okay (ABC’s!). I asked her a few questions like her name, her age, what time it was, etc. I decided she was Aware of her surroundings (AO+4). All she said was “where’s my son?” I turned around and saw a boy and knew it was him from the look on his face. He looked scared but also calmed when I told him his mom was fine. He was standing and I could see no sign of injury. A lady (the driver) was with him and she said he was okay. The boy looked about 6 years old.

He was standing behind me. I had him come over to hold his mom’s hand (so she would stop asking about him). She asked him to pray which he immediately started doing. I then had to think of what to do next because the paramedics had not arrived yet. When she was done telling a lady to call her family, I asked her where she felt pain. She said her neck and her right side (where the car hit) so I asked her to wiggle her toes to test for feeling and motion. She did fine, (It was really hard to get information because the people around us were crying and saying “what the f… happened” over and over again; they were shocked and scared, but I felt like she would be okay). I double checked to make sure somebody called 911, then knew she needed to be checked for any wounds to her ribs or arms (especially for lung wounds which are not good). I did not have my gloves so I chose not to touch her arm because of the blood. I had head control and a guy to my left was holding her hand and giving comfort. The biggest thing I think was to keep her calm so she wouldn’t move around. I saw that her arm had a pretty deep cut on it but the bleeding had stopped. Some people brought some towels over so we put one on her arm. I wanted to do a rib check to make sure no puncture wounds were there but finally we heard the sirens and saw the lights of the paramedics.

It wasn’t too much longer than one of the EMT’s told me he would take head control. I told him I was WFR and could help if needed. Within a few minutes there was tons of authorities around, so I knew my job was done. They proceeded to do a check on her ribs and legs that I was about to do. I stood around and watched until they put her in an ambulance. One other guy also went in an ambulance after being checked but I think that was a precaution they were taking with him. When people cleared out I took out my phone and took some pictures. I think everyone is going to be okay and the lady will have some stitches on her arm and probably whip lash and maybe a fractured rib. Here are the pictures I took with my phone…

From far away… you can see them working by the car

This is the damage on the car. She was in the back right seat.

This is the truck. The (3?) guys in it were all okay.

Back to the car and some bystanders.

An overall view to show the position of the car and truck… The car was T-boned by the truck and spun around into that position. I can only assume the car was turning left when the truck hit them. It was before the intersection…

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