Motorcylists save friends' lives after emergency response course

From: Access North Georgia

Two motorcyclists from Bethlehem saved the life of a fellow rider over the Memorial Day holiday after learning the proper rescue techniques in an emergency response class.

Vance and Fern Oakes were riding motorcycles with friends, when the accident happened. Their friends' trike left the roadway and traveled down a cliff. The trike flipped over and threw the driver and passenger off.

After calling 911, Vance did his best to revive his friend, by performing CPR and assisting him with breathing. Paramedics were at least 20 minutes away, as the group was traveling in rural Tennessee.

"I've had CPR classes, but if I had not had the CERT training classes and known how to quickly triage the patient and establish an airway and breathing I don't think my friend would be alive today," Vance said.
Fern stayed with the passenger, who was conscious, and kept her calm.

The driver was taken by helicopter to a trauma center, and the passenger was taken to a local hospital.

"I'm real thankful I had the training and I was there and able to help him, because there was nobody else around who would have been able to help him," Vance said.

The Oakes took the Barrow County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in the fall of 2012 after an advertisement peaked their interest.

Oakes said their friends continue to recover. The woman had bruises and scrapes, according to Vance, but is doing well now.

The male victim is still healing in a longer road to recovery.
"He's having to go through rehab, but he's doing very well," Vance said.