The Razorback Greenway is an incredible resource for our region. Its usage will only increase as more people discover it. We think that is awesome! I use it at least 3 times a week, if not more. While riding the Greenway I’ve encountered three emergency situations that required calling 911 and that got us thinking. So here’s our Tips For Emergencies On The Razorback Greenway. If you use the Greenway consistently chances are you will have an encounter that requires EMS response. Here are three situations I encountered and our tips below.
The first time I had to dial 911 on the Greenway was when I came across a person face down unconscious on the path. Blood was all over from were his face impacted. My guess is it was a seizure or heart attack which caused the black out. I checked for a pulse and breathing (which he had) then called 911. I could not tell how long he was there but it was a super cold winter day with temps in the teens. In the moment I completely blanked on the trail name but did recognize that I was behind the Proctor & Gamble building and that was enough for EMS teams to get there within minutes. The man did come around and was taken away in the ambulance.
My second encounter was when a man had a seizure. He was running with a friend and started to seize and fell down just in front of me. I had a friend growing up who had seizures so I knew what was happening. Another cyclist (Keith B who had first aid training) stopped and checked on the man and called 911. Although we did not know what mile marker we were near we did recognize that we were along the U of A agricultural fields and that was enough information for EMS teams to locate us quickly.
The third emergency happened earlier this year when a women attempted to commit suicide. When I rolled up she was sitting down against a light post (blood everywhere). It was a gruesome scene. Two college students were there and one was calling 911. He asked me the name of the trail and I completely blanked again. But I did just happen to have passed a police officer on the trail before rolling up to this location. I told one of the students to run down and get the mile marker (probably 30 yards away) and I would go back to alert the officer. We were able to guide the police in quickly. Later I was told by a friend with the fire department that she survived.
Please note: The EMS crews responded quickly in all three of these situations. It was impressive.
Folks, if you use the Greenway consistently chances are you will encounter a similar situation. So here are some of our tips for emergencies on the Razorback Greenway.
#1- Always take your cell phone. No-brainer here, but with modern phones you have a computer in your pocket that can save lives.
#2- Calm yourself as much as possible. Two of the three incidents my mind was racing and a little bit of panic set in. This lead me to completely blank on trail names, trails I’ve ridden a gazillion times. It is important to calm yourself so you can think clearly and make good decisions. Call 911 immediately they will be able to talk you through many situations. In the first situation the 911 operator walked me through a number of checks while the Fire Department was on its way. This also served to calm my mind a ton.
#3- Study the trail map and trail names, know how the Greenway is marked. Here is a link to a map.
Here is an example of Greenway signage. Notice trail names, distances and destinations.
Here is a mile marker. Remembering what mile marker you are near can help EMS crews find your location sooner rather than later.
They are also painted on the path.
Did you know the light posts also have mileage marked? There are a lot of lights on the Greenway. These can come in handy during an emergency.
#4- Observe and take mental notes of your surroundings while riding. Although you might not know the name of every trail or where every mile marker is a landmark (tower, buildings, bridges, tunnels, street crossings, trail crossings, businesses etc.) could help you guide the EMS teams to the location. For example, knowing that I was behind the Proctor & Gamble building helped in the first situation and knowing we were along the U of A agri-fields helped in the second situation. All that to say, taking mental notes of signage and landmarks could save a life.
#5- If you are someone who uses the Greenway a lot consider getting some first aid training. After these incidents we are planning on it. I know the University of Arkansas Outdoor Recreation program does a Wilderness Fist Aid course early in the year. Other organizations like NICA do as well for their coaches.
These are some of our tips. We know there are some better tips. Please let us know yours in the comments below. We might add it to the list.