The first time it happened, I think, I was at the Thaw–Peter took a hard crash in front of goal and was groaning a bit and not getting up, so I ran out to make sure he was alright. I had him breath in and out, pushed where he said he had pain, all that jazz. He was fine, but that’s when it started.
From that point on, I’ve been increasingly called on to address (either through my own will or by people shouting for me) cuts, falls, and broken bones.
Now let me be clear on this: I’m not a legitimately trained professional in any way. I was a boy scout who learned a little bit more than the basics of first aid, and my mom is a nurse, so I have some background knowledge on top of that. But when someone is bleeding like a punctured bag of Capri Sun, I’m not the worst guy to have around to address that.
What concerns me is not that I’m asked to help in first aid situations (I’m more than happy to help), but that I specifically am needed to be called at all. There were only two instances where someone else was more qualified than me: Worlds of 2013 (Medic Mike was there, as was an ex-marine with trauma training), and North Americans, where Jacques (an EMT, if memory serves) was more than capable, though he did let me hand him things, which was fun. Every other tourney, however, I had the distinct feeling that nobody was really ready or willing to jump in if needed.
This is also where I note that, while at Worlds 2013, I did the ol’ “follow my finger with your eyes” move that Mr. Do captured and Horse is so fond of making fun of me for. If I don’t say it here he’ll mention it in the comments, so here it is. HERE IT IS, HORSE.
And that gets me to thinking–should clubs at least try to get one person to be first aid certified? Would it be beneficial if we, as North American Bike Polo, could be sure that at any given tourney we have at least some first aid certified folks bopping around? If you go through the Red Cross it’s about 90 bucks for adult first aid/CPR certification, and that could go a long way in addressing ouchie boo boos in a good way during a tourney (or knowing when a person needs to go to a hospital).
I’m not saying that we all need to be trained EMTs or nurses, but it’s concerning when a group of people surround someone on the ground and nobody knows quite what to do. We’ve been terrifically lucky as far as injuries go in the sport, and I say that in full knowledge of some of the big injuries players have had. I’m curious about how other clubs deal with this, if at all, and if getting some club members to enroll in a simple first aid class would be helpful to the sport as a whole.