A first aid class got some unexpected hands-on training at a crash outside the classroom Aug. 29.
A police vehicle and a van collided on Hwy16 near Kerr Street around 10:17 a.m., leaving the van with a crushed front end and the RCMP vehicle in the grassy median in front of the Pacific Natural Gas building.
St. John’s Ambulance Level 3 occupational first aid course member Trevor Lubbers heard the crash and fellow student Dayna Jackson looked out and saw the injured van driver laying on the pavement behind his vehicle.
After Jackson saw the man trying to get up, first aid instructor Don Morrison said, “OK. Let’s go.”
He told the eight people to grab their gear and they, as well as St. John’s branch manager Janet Mackenzie, rushed out to check the driver.
“I kind of jumped in and took it,” said Morrison, adding that his class knew what to do and assisted.
After introducing himself, asking the driver’s name and getting his consent to check him for injuries, Morrison exposed the man’s chest, where he complained of pain, and his back, where he also was hurting, said Morrison.
“I didn’t find any injuries,” said Morrison, adding that bruising wouldn’t show up right away.
They took his vital signs and gave him some oxygen as he looked pale and chalky, said Morrison.
He had minor cuts on his forehead and the back of his head.
The driver was asked not to move his head so the first aid class could immobilize him on a spinal board, said Morrison.
As they were putting him on the spinal board, the ambulance paramedic crew arrived and the class relayed the information about the man and his injuries, said Morrison.
The ambulance took the driver to hospital and the students returned to class.
“They did a great job,” Morrison said.
This isn’t the first time a Level 3 first aid class got real-life experience.
When construction on the Walmart began some years ago, the lights at the corner of Feeney Ave. and Hwy16 changed quite quickly before corrective measures were taken.
Morrison and his class went out to help at an accident on that corner.