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Cafe crash chaos spurs first-aid offer

Bikes at Grey Gum Cafe
Bikes at Grey Gum Cafe

The chaotic situation after a motorcycle crash outside Grey Gum Cafe on the famed Putty Road last weekend has inspired the cafe owner to offer free First Aid for Motorcyclists (FAFM) courses.

Owner Kim Grace describes the accident scene as “horrifying” with one rider even offering the crash victim a beer.

She now plans to offer free courses to riders when the FAFM trainers return to Sydney in October after their nationwide tour.

“Nobody knew what to do,” she says. “I’m just so glad it happened straight out the front.”

Apparently a rider pulled over to enter the popular motorcycle cafe grounds and another rider in his pack clipped the rear of his bike and crashed.

“When I got up there it was obvious they had just taken his helmet straight off despite the fact that his eyes had rolled back in his head,” she says.

“He’d come down hard on his head and his helmet was gouged. The guy was non compos mentis – just out of it – he didn’t know what had happened.”

Kim says the other riders were just standing around.

“One guy even suggested he should leave his bike here and he’d double him home. I said he’s at least got a conclusion and might have a head injury; he’s not going anywhere.

“When I said I’d ring the ambulance they said I’d have to get his permission first. How could I? The guy didn’t even know where he was.”

Grey Gum CafeThe post-crash chaos continued with riders wanting the crash victim to walk to the cafe instead of staying still and Kim says one rider even asked him if he wanted a beer.

“Don’t they know you are not allowed to let a crash victim have anything to eat or drink?” she asked.

“I was trying to keep everybody calm and get them to focus, but it just wasn’t happening.

“However, when the ambulance rang back and said they were very concerned as head injuries can turn bad quickly and that they would send a helicopter, then the riders stopped interfering.”

Careflight chopper arrives at Grey Gum Cafe
Careflight chopper arrives at Grey Gum Cafe

Kim now wants to promote first-aid courses to the many riders who frequent her popular cafe.

“Any motorcycle club that registers 10 people for the course, I’ll pay for the 11th person,” she says.

“I haven’t done an official first-aid course and I would do the course if I could, but I’m pretty busy here. But when you love in the country you make sure you know what to do in case of accidents and snake bites etc.

“The most important thing to do is to listen to what the people on the other end of the phone tell you what to do.”

Kim says there have been a few accidents on the Putty Road in the five years since she established the cafe, but not as many as most people suggest.

“It doesn’t have the reputation it’s supposed to have,” she says.

“The Road Maritime Services have done a lot of good work to widen the corners, particular the 60km bends. They’ve spent a lot of money and done some good work.

“It’s a beautiful road if you ride it sensibly.”

MBW rides the new Indian Springfield on the Putty Road Grey Gum Cafe
MBW rides the new Indian Springfield on the Putty Road

Kim built the cafe after the Half Way Roadhouse burnt down in 2009 so riders had somewhere to stop and rest on the 174km stretch through the national parks.

Grey Gum Cafe has since become a favourite stopover for riders and charity rides such as the Black Dog Ride.

Kim says the Motorcycle Council of NSW has installed three satellite phones at the cafe to ensure emergency contact.

  1. I know people can be idiots sometimes especially after an accident involving a friend or acquaintance but I would hope that more common sense would prevalent among riders.
    While I hate the nannying that has pervaded this country I think it would be very helpful if some basic first aid and things not to do were included as part of the license renewal process. It would take much just watch a few online presentations then a multiple choice test before you can renew your license. This would at least stop people doing stupid stuff and maybe encourage some to do a full first aid course.

  2. So this storie has some truth and a lot of twist.

    I’m not sure if the author threw in the extra parts or Kim.

    I’ve spoke to the rider that crashed and the other riders that were there.

    This not the complete truth.

    What people do to make a storie juice.
    If you did in fact spoke to Kim she would have you the few riders to contact for their side also.

    I’ve lost my faith in this author.

  3. This is probably a good time to be reminded that (In Australia at least) not all private health insurance plans may cover ambulance transport costs, and public Medicare definitely does not.
    On top of that, who pays what differs between states and terrtories, then throw in third-party complications such as Transport Accident Commision and Workcover, and it gets a bit confusing.
    An ambulance membership subscription can be cheap insurance against such costs.
    Check your cover, health insurers don’t make money by giving it away.

  4. Last time I was at Grey Gums you took your life in your hands riding up their driveway. Putty road was fine but their driveway was potholed and gravelly and not fun to ride on at all

  5. I am surprised, with today’s OH&S and workplace safety regulations, that first aid training is not available to all. In many industries I’ve worked in over the years, without a current senior first aid ticket, you don’t get a start. And if it lapses, your stood down till a refresher course has been undertaken.

  6. Tracey is more than qualified to run the course and used to run courses for St John’s.
    Whilst the course she offers is not a certificate course, it’s content and outcomes are worth your time and effort. The First Aid for Motorcyclists course deals specifically with issues you will face on the roadside and I am very glad I completed the course. I have also backed it up with a certificate course in Apply First Aid which is the qualification you need for WHS requirements.

  7. What a clever plot to push a sales pitch.

    Hmmm – during this free coarse which i’m assuming is to take place at the cafe, are the proceeds for food and beverages going to be donated to care flight?, or the St Johns Ambulance Service? I mean, its all about caring for riders safety right?

    As for First Aid certification, you can complete this online here…
    a fact that was conveniently omitted. Does Kim really care? – well I heard from a friend of a friend, who over happened to over hear his cousins ex girl-fiend, who was at the time stuffing down a sausage roll, that maybe the entire purpose of this article is to construct a sales premise (with the intent of caring) to sell meat pies and coffee.

    What offends me, hence the aggression of my response, that not a single rider was interviewed or brought forward to verify the outrageous claims about the events of that day. And yes, I happen to know the rider in question, and many that were eye witness to what really transpired that unfortunate afternoon.

    If you pro-port to offer a money making solution, by creating an issue based on outright unsubstantiated fiction, I suggest you get out of your tree and get your facts right. Cease painting motorcycle riders as a bunch morons, or you may find over time, the only orders you will be receiving is that of Koala Bears.

  8. My earlier comments (since removed – Ed) are apparently incorrect. I apologise. I have been informed that Roger and Tracy are both “fully accredited” by a “Registered Training Organisation” and fully qualified.

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