Kurt Caselli Foundation First Aid And CPR Training

Getting racers ready to deal with downed riders

Kurt Caselli Foundation
A solid group of racers, industry, and media are now all CPR/first aid certified because of the Kurt Caselli Foundation and its first, free-to-participants first-aid training days.Cole Kirkpatrick

Do you know what to do if you rode up to a downed, unresponsive rider, in either a race or just a trail ride? Unfortunately, crashes happen and this is a reality of our sport and hobby. Just this year this is exactly what happened to Colton Haaker in the King of the Motos Extreme Enduro. As you might have seen from his GoPro video of the incident, Colton was on a very fast, wide-open section of the race when he saw a downed rider and a bike on its side. Without hesitation he stopped and turned around to help, finding that Taylor Robert, who was in second place, was unconscious but breathing.

Without really knowing what to do, Colton tried to wake him up to no avail. Colton activated his SPOT tracker to call for help, but that was about all he could do. Fortunately, a race helicopter saw this happen as well and was on its way to help. This crash had a happy ending since Taylor has made a full recovery and Colton went on to win the race. But it begs the question, What can be done to make racing safer for all involved?

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Time to take some good notes.Cole Kirkpatrick

The Kurt Caselli Foundation is all about safety; that’s the entire reason it exists. After witnessing this crash and the way things unfolded, the KCF knew it had to do something. They went to work to find out what could be done and came up with a motorcycle-specific first-aid and CPR class for racers, photographer, event organizers, and eventually, it will be for the general public. The first of these events took place on December 3, the day after the KCF Memorial Ride Day.

We talked with Antti Kallonen, an adviser of the KCF and KTM Factory Off-Road Team manager, about how the class went, how the whole thing got started, and what he sees as the future of more events/classes like this.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
We see it in the movies and on TV, but do we really know what to do?Cole Kirkpatrick

“This all came from an incident this year when, you may remember, Taylor Robert got badly injured in the King of the Motos. Colton Haaker was the first one to come up on him and he didn’t really know what to do. He was just shouting his name but he wasn’t checking to see, is he breathing. Like, what’s the severity of the injury? What can he do to help? He almost went into a small panic himself.

“A week or two went by and I believe it was Taylor, after getting back from the hospital, who said, ‘Hey, we really need to do something about riders knowing what to do,’ because usually they are the first ones to come up on injured rider, especially if it’s a desert race. But even if it’s a motocross race or any kind of off-road race. The riders are usually the first ones to check if the downed rider is okay. So we are, in a sense, the first responders.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Buddy Antunez is only pretending to be choking, but I don’t think Jon-Erik Burleson is taking it easy on him.Cole Kirkpatrick

“That’s when the idea started that this fits into one of the foundation’s initiatives. To really make a difference, to actually educate and train riders to help other riders in an emergency, just like what Taylor experienced. We bounced around the idea and started to work with a first-aid training company to specialize on what to do out on the trail with the tools you have. The first training came about six months later, which just happened. We invited 25 riders and they were all on board, like for sure.

“So this first training happened now just a few days ago, and it was successful. Everyone left the training with a much better mindset and the knowledge of what to do. Basic stuff that we heard and the room went quite like, ‘What? You do that?’ So I think everyone learned a lot, even the guys who have been first-aid trained 10 years ago. This is like a really good refreshment. I didn’t know what to do.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Left to right: Cycle News guy Jesse Ziegler, Jon-Erik Burleson, and Quinn CodyCole Kirkpatrick

“We went through CPR, AED [automated external defibrillator], very extensive training on broken bones and things like that, what you normally encounter out on a racecourse or in the desert. We had about a handful of riders who wanted to get their official CPR certification, and you would not get the certification card if you left the AED part out, even though we don’t have those out in the desert. That’s one of the criteria also for members and coaches of the USMCA [United States Motorcycle Coaching Association]. We had Buddy Antunez, Jon-Erik Burleson, and some of the riders are planning on coaching through the USMCA so they wanted to get certified, so we made this an official first-aid training course. We might actually continue with this. We are now gathering feedback.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Mark Samuels is focused.Cole Kirkpatrick

“Just by having these 25 riders do this and then spreading the word, we’ve had very good feedback already in two days. People are already calling and commenting about how this is great and asking if we are going to do more. If someone wants to do the same in their local communities, local motorcycle club, they can too. It’s very important. Like I said earlier, we are the first responders really, if you look at it that way. We are the first ones to come up on riders and we learn what to do, how to assign who does what, who goes for help, who’s staying with the rider, what to do first. We have to make sure the injured rider is breathing, has a clean airway. We all learned a lot about, in life-threatening situations, what to do. And even the small things like if you have a broken bone.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
To feel like a newbie at something isn’t what professional racers are used to.Cole Kirkpatrick

“Our end goal is, every motorcyclist should be CPR, first-aid trained. Just these 25 riders, they were all very happy to get trained and want to stay certified, and now they will hopefully spread the word and we as a foundation continue doing this. Obviously the motorcycling community is very big and we can’t reach everyone, but our goal is to have as big impact as we can, help maybe clubs and communities to do the same. You know riders. Sometimes you ask riders to go something on their own or get trained, get certified, and it doesn’t happen. But once someone puts it together, invites people, and organizes it, they are more likely to join and do it. We are trying to make it convenient for riders. It really only takes half a day. We got this training done in six hours including a lunch break. It really isn’t that long of a time. Even if you never use it on the track or on the trail, it’s still good for your everyday life. This is a tool that is not only utilized when you are out riding; you’ll utilize this in everyday life. Maybe your family member needs help and you are trained and know what to do.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Gary Sutherlin isn’t sure if he’s doing it right.Cole Kirkpatrick

“Once you are trained, you have the confidence, once you come up on someone, and it comes to your mind easier than if you are not. Many times people think, ‘Oh, I know what to do. I’ve seen what they do on TV,’ or, ‘I’ve seen EMTs help riders.’ But with hands-on training you know just what to do. I highly encourage first-aid training for everyone. All of KTM’s employees are being trained. Many times, when a rider is testing he is only with his mechanic, so that makes the mechanic the first responder. We are training all of our mechanics on our own inspired by what the foundation did. You could be the difference between life and death. You might be the one saving someone’s life.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Johnny Campbell probably already knows a lot of this stuff.Cole Kirkpatrick

“Taylor made a comment that this should almost be required before you get to race a desert race or any kind of race, that you are CPR certified. Obviously we hope riders and people do it on their own, rather than having it required or mandated. Safety should take priority over everything. Just spending six hours getting trained and you could save someone’s life—it’s pretty rewarding.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Taylor Robert gets down with some chest compressions.Cole Kirkpatrick

“We don’t have the next class scheduled. We wanted to learn from this first one and just within the last two days we got so much good feedback that I can say for sure this will continue. We are trying to do East Coast, West Coast, and build a program where our foundation will have a big role in getting people trained plus spreading the word and awareness of first-aid training. If you have a bigger group of people like a motorcycle club, you can actually hire a first-aid training company to come, like the foundation did, and get the best out of a group setting. We have plans to keep working with this specific first-aid company to specialize more and more on motorcycle riding, once they get to know us better and we give them a lot of feedback. We had 25 riders who’ve all had different kinds of injuries shared their stories of how things happened. We are working with Life Goes On training company to make [the class] more tailored toward motorcycle racing and racers.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Simple broken bones happen too.Cole Kirkpatrick

“The foundation is always looking to help riders and that’s what we are, a safety foundation. The goal is to collect enough funds and give it back to the motorcycling community, and we can do that by providing a free class. Obviously, 25 riders at a time is not a big group, but that’s why we are encouraging clubs or any kind of group to do it on their own. It’s not that expensive if you look into it. It’s like $100 or $150 a person for a certification, and that’s not expensive when you think of it like now you have the tools to save someone’s life.”

For more information, go to kurtcaselli.com.

Kurt Caselli Foundation
Is Cody Webb diligently following along or reading off someone else’s notes.Cole Kirkpatrick
Kurt Caselli Foundation
And this is the goal at the end of the day.Cole Kirkpatrick