Newspaper Archive of
The Big Timber Pioneer
Big Timber, Montana
August 30, 2002     The Big Timber Pioneer
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August 30, 2002

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Page 8 -- BIG TIMBER (MT) PIONEER m Week of Aug. 30 - Sept. 5, 2002 A Montana Highway Patrol officer tends to a vehicle rollover earlier in August on 1-90 No one was seriously injured in this accident, but fatality rates from motor vehicle accidents are higher in rural areas due to the longer distances emergency crews must travel to get to the scene. (photo by Candy Buster) The average American will be in or witness a motor vehicle crash once every ten years, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics. That means by the time the average person is 70 years old, he will have witnessed seven car wrecks, in which at least seven peo- ple may need help from a passing motorist. The chances of being in a life- threatening crash are greatest in rural areas, which is partially attrib- uted to the significant time delay from when a crash occurs to when it is first reported to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). It takes longer due to the distances the EMS must travel to reach injured victims. Many motor vehicle deaths can be attributed to the lack of early intervention. Being the first one at the scene of an accident could determine whether the victims live or die. NHTSA and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are encour- aging bystander involvement through the First There, First Care program. The campaign was devel- oped to help Americans understand their role as the important first link in the chain of emergency care. They suggested five steps for i~ystanders: Stop to help, call for help, assess the victim, start the breathing, and stop the bleeding.The following is the protocol they hope people will follow: driving by. With the widespread use Bystanders should ask victims not to of cellular phones, it is getting easi- move and where they are hurting, er to call for help quickly, noting if they seem confused or are But what many people do not moaning. Victims who are not mov- realize is that when they dial 9-1-1, ing or talking need help first. it rings the dispatcher in the town Agnew said if the vehicle wreck where they got their phone, not nec- had high impact, bystanders should essarily the nearest law enforcement assume everyone in the automobile agency, Agnew pointed out. Cellular has a spinal injury, which means not phone companies are working on moving them. Even if victims are up solving that problem, she added, and moving around, they could still Agnew emphasized people need have back injuries, Agnew men- to be as specific as they can be when tioned. they describe the location of the She remembers a few summers accident. They should locate mile ago, a woman was out of the vehicle markers and use landmarks to walking around after a wreck. The explain clearly where they are. paramedics put her on a backboard just to be safe, and it turned out the Assess the victim: NHTSA woman had damage to her spine. stressed it is imperative to check the She could have been paralyzed if she condition of an injured victim, continued movingaround. Only if the car is on fire or the automobile is on victims need to be moved for rescue are lying in the breathing should bystanders ever them. Abystander move them, Agnew said. ysis or even Bystanders can check for tims if they breathing by tilting the victim's head injury during the era to its normal, eyes-front position. "The biggest They should hold their hands in with bystanders is front of the nose and mouth to feel get them (victims) for breathing, cle," Tronrud revealed. The vehicle has to Start the breathing: To start from the person, rescue breathing, cover the victim's removed frc mouth with a protective shield (if Tronrud recalled available), pinch the nose and blow some bystanders air into the victim's mouth while try- pound man through a st ing to move the person as little as him out of a possible, lucky, because he had Rescue breathing is not the injured, the Sheriff me[ same thing as Cardio Pulmonary the people who were Resusitation (CPR). CPR is for did manage to get when the victim is not breathing and pletely stuck in the the heart is not beating. CPR is res- was quite an ordeal. cue breathing plus compressions, unstuck, lftheybad People should be trained before they could have just administrating either, Agnew said. and the man wo Agnew added if CPR is neces- easily, Tronrud reported sary, victims must be flat on their NHTSA recomme backs on a hard surface. She said gauze bandages, b they might have to be moved if the gloves, night time breathing passage is blocked. The et shield to cover the riot1 back seat of a vehicle is not an ade- for rescue breathing,. quately hard surface for CPR, she water in all vehicles in mentioned, emergency. Most states have Stop the bleeding: To stop Samaritan law that excessive bleeding, place a gauze citizens who provide bandage on the wound and apply roadside emergency. direct pressure, reasonably under Once the bleeding is stoppedthere is generally no risk and the breathing has been started, County Attorney victims should not be moved any- Matagisi said Montana more until EMS personnel arrive, that does not require Sweet Grass County Sheriff act, hut does protect Dan Tronrud also stressed that their actions are not unless victims are in danger (the gent." Bi_q Timber Glass and Detailing We Perform Auto Your 310 West 1st Big Timber, MT 932-6860 e e Hometown Auto Glass Glass Auto Accessories Bedliners Detailing :ialist Stop to help: When stopping to ilelp, people should park a safe dis- ~ance from the crash scene, turn on their hazard lights and raise the hood. They should watch out for passing vehicles, approach the scene carefully and be aware of smoke, fire, the smell of gasoline, downed power lines or other hazards. If any ~1 these hazards are present, people should not go any closer if they feel their safety is threatened. ..... iii!i ! i i i! Call for help: The next step is :o call 9-1-1 immediately to make sure help is on the way. When bystanders are alone or don't have a cellular or car phone, they should try to flag down another car and send that person for help. If no other cars are passing, they should start the vic- tims' breathing and stop the bleeding before leaving for help. Cookie Agnew, office manager of the ambulance service, said most accidents around Big Timber are reported by people who stop or are Before you get caught in the cold, contact us for a relighting of your pilot light. Just call 1-888-467-2669, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Or you can make your request online, at (Just select "Energy Account Access," and follow the simple directions.) Acting soon makes it easier to schedule a convenient time for us to stop by and light your pilot light, so call today. Energy For Montan8