ABATE of Iowa hopes to enhance motorcycle survival rates through education

Published: Mar. 25, 2017 at 6:31 PM CDT
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The Iowa Department of Transportation reports there were 60 motorcycle fatalities in the state in 2016.

ABATE of Iowa, District 15 is hoping to change that by educating both riders and non-riders through their annual Two Wheel Trauma Class.

"Motorcycling is my way of life," Slider Gilmore, an instructor and motorcyclist said.

He says he enjoys teaching others about his way of life.

"I've lost so many friends or had so many friends injured, it's a very dangerous lifestyle, but it's something we love," he said. "Education is the key, not legislation, and today we're educating."

By educating even people who who don't ride motorcycles, Gilmore says that can help prevent dangerous situations out on roadways.

"The purpose of [Saturday's] class is to reduce mortality and morbidity of motorcycle injuries," he said.

He says since every crash isn't preventable, they also teach what first responders and health professionals should do when they do happen.

"Handle victims of crash scenes, motorcycle crash scenes specifically that we're working with, mechanisms of injuries are different than they are in a car, bilateral femur fractures are prevalent, people going over the handle bars, we just touch all aspects of it," Gilmore said.

"Things you don't think about you know so yeah, I think it's important," Patty Schulz, who is a certified rehab registered nurse, said.

She says she doesn't deal with injuries immediately after a two-wheel wreck, but she's there for what comes after that.

"I'll see the after effect, you know when they eventually make it to rehab," Schulz said.

That's why she believes this kind of education is important for everyone out on the roadway.

"Prevention so they don't end up coming to the rehab because they had you know a devastating accident, a traumatic brain injury that they may never fully recover from," Schulz said.

There were more than 100 people at Saturday's free course.

EMT's, chiropractors and nurses who attended received a certificate for a specific amount of credit hours for being there.

Upcoming ABATE of Iowa District 15 Events:

- April 22: Blessing of the Bikes Run at Cedar Memorial Christian Church, sign-in 11 a.m. to noon

- May 20: Music and Memory Ride for Iowa Masonic at Iowa Masonic Home, sign-in 11 a.m. to noon

- June 29 through July 1: 33rd Annual Freedom Rally at Freedom Park in Algona, Iowa

- July 8: Taco Run for the Children's Therapy Center of the QC, sign-in at Wiebler's Harley Davidson 10 a.m. to noon