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MY 2 CENTS


the cyclist’s helmet was really tight, so I reached under his throat and carefully released it.


I didn’t want to move the cyclist’s neck or try to untangle his legs from the bike since he was breathing OK. His face was slightly cocked off from the vertical, but facing toward me and allowing him to breathe, so I thought it better to leave well enough alone until the ambulance arrived.


When the man on the cell phone finished his call to the ambulance dispatcher, I left the cyclist’s side to run to my car and grab a roll of kitchen towels I regularly keep in it. When I returned I placed several towels under the cyclist’s face to sop up some of the blood and perhaps stop the bleeding.


That’s when the thought struck me, “What if he suddenly stops breathing?” Would I perform CPR on him, considering the threat of possibly being infected by the coronavirus? I knew the answer immediately. I wouldn’t hesitate, because


I could not watch and let a human being expire in front of me without taking action.


The man began to stir slightly after being unconscious for perhaps 10 minutes, but he wasn’t coherent and I advised him not try to get up. He made a few feeble attempts, but I consoled him by telling him to lie still until the ambulance arrived, while holding pressure on his back to keep him from moving. Several more minutes passed before the ambulance arrived.


The EMT class I attended nearly four decades ago and my time as an air medical helicopter pilot allowed me to call upon rusty skills that helped me look after that man in need. That event gave me a much clearer appreciation for what the first responders face every day when they go on an emergency callout.


For their unselfish and brave efforts, I salute every one of these first responders for voluntarily putting themselves in harm’s way. For they are, by very definition, well and true heroes.


Randy Mains is an author, public speaker, and AMRM consultant who works in the helicopter industry after a long career of aviation adventure. He currently serves as chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero.


He may be contacted at: info@randymains.com


rotorcraftpro.com


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