Several members of the Canadian Ski Patrol in Central Zone also volunteer their time with the EMS White Knights, a paramedic and medical-based motorcycle association, in addition to CSP four seasons events. In 2016, coordinated by Al McInnis, they were working at the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
The 2016 ride covered more than 200 km through Southern Ontario. On the first day, several CSP members were involved in a serious incident and without their key intervention, Ride participant Leo McDonald would have had a very different outcome from the positive one that resulted.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., a cyclist heard an ‘ugh’ and the clatter of a bike behind her. She turned and saw that a gentleman had fallen off his bicycle and was lying unconscious on the ground. She immediately went to the man’s side and yelled at a nearby police constable, who quickly came to her aid and began chest compressions while the witness began artificial respirations.
The CSP’s Ana Mera and Colin Storey were patrolling the area on their bicycles. As they came upon the scene, they could see someone lying on the pavement and immediately went to work, pulled out their first aid kits and offered assistance. Since Colin had a face mask, he immediately took over artificial respirations as Ana fell in rhythm with the constable, taking turns performing compressions. The constable confirmed that an ambulance had been called and CPR was continued. Ana sent a text message to Corbee Dutchburn, who carries a White Knights AED on his motorcycle, and the route’s medical car was dispatched to the scene.
Shortly after, the event route’s medical car, an ambulance crew, more constables, and an additional two teams of medical motorcycles consisting of Corbee Dutchburn and Blair Wallhouse, and Dave Shelley and Steve MacCallum, made their way via police escort to the incident.
Next to arrive were Al McInnis, Doug Robertson, Jessica Lemmon, Alex Perrot, and Christopher Blair. Doug rotated through CPR compressions, while Al assisted with scene management. It was reconfirmed that the ambulance was en route and would arrive shortly. The medical car arrived with a CSP trauma bag and oxygen and Colin was further assisted with the airway and BVM resuscitation efforts, while the sweep crew rotated with the constable and Ana in the ongoing delivery of chest compressions to the patient. The other CSP patrollers who arrived on scene tasked themselves as needed by cutting clothing and preparing the patient for the AED’s arrival.
The fire department and paramedics arrived on scene with their AED which they hooked up to the patient while Colin and the patrollers continued CPR. Corbee, Blair, Dave, and Steve arrived just after the paramedics had brought the AED and provided relief to those on site by further aiding with the incident management.
After Leo was intubated, an intravenous connected, and drugs administered, the AED delivered one shock and no more shocks were advised. A paramedic took over for Colin at the head and the patient was transported by ambulance to the Niagara General Hospital. Once the incident was completed and the scene cleared, Corbee, also a member of the CSP Central Zone patroller support program team fell into his PSP role to ensure that the patrollers involved were all assessed and debriefed from this traumatic event. The incident was then reported to the Ride to Conquer Cancer hotline, the scene was checked and cleaned, and the ride was continued. Doug offered further comfort by choosing to ride alongside a participating cyclist who witnessed some of the action to help calm and reassure her.
Several days after the incident, a Central Zone patroller who works with the patient’s brother, reported that Leo was on a ventilator for a time after admission to the hospital but did fully recover. If it had not been for the actions of the witness, police constable, the patrollers who performed CPR and AR which helped keep Leo alive before the ambulance arrived with the AED, and all the other patrollers who provided relief, support and assistance throughout the incident, Leo would not have survived and this story could have had a very different ending indeed.
Congratulations Christopher, Corbee, Jessica, Al, Ana, Alex, Doug, Dave, Colin and Blair for your exemplary teamwork. The CSP was honoured to present each of these individuals with a Lifesaving Award.