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.”
The 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.”
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.”
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.