Belmont, Perth,

WA Day warning for off-road motorists after dangerous weekend

St John Ambulance Western Australia has issued cautionary advice to people planning outdoor activities over the WA Day long weekend, after its Critical Care Paramedics (CCP) responded to three off-road incidents last weekend.

A man in his 30s was injured in a two-wheel motorcycle incident in dunes near Lancelin on Saturday morning; then on Sunday morning, a second man in his 30s was injured in when he hit a kangaroo on a trail-bike on private property at Mornington, near Harvey.

CCPs - on board the Department of Fire and Emergency Service’s Rescue Helicopter - attended both incidents and transferred the patients to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment.

In a third incident, a teenage boy – was transported by ambulance to Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital after injuring his shoulder blade in a trail-bike accident on a property near Kalgoorlie.

St John Ambulance Metropolitan Ambulance General Manager James Sherriff, said it serves a timely warning for people planning off-road activities, such as quad-biking and four wheel driving.

“Just because you’re not on the main road, the same risks still apply. In fact, I’d go so far to say that the risk is greater because there are sometimes no rules,” Mr Sherriff said.

“Seatbelts and helmets should always be worn; they’re there to protect you in case of accident. It can be the difference between major and minor injury; or even, life and death.”

Mr Sherriff said as well as taking steps to prevent injury, planning and preparation are essential if you’re heading into the great outdoors this weekend, not matter if its quad-biking or bush-walking or camping. “Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back – even if you only plan to be gone for an hour or two. That way, if you become lost or injured, you’re more likely to be located quickly,“ he said.

Mr Sherriff also advised to be prepared.

“At a minimum, pack water, energy bars, a hat, light weight raincoat and a travel-sized first aid kit. And make sure you take prescription medications with you, such as blood pressure, diabetes and asthma treatments, and pack extra – just in case your return is delayed.”

An EPIRB – available at most camping stores for as little as $100 – is also highly recommended.

“If you need to call triple zero (000) knowing exactly where you are can be life-saving, so consider taking devices such as an EPIRB. Take an EPIRB in addition to a smart phone with GPS capabilities to ensure you can alert emergency authorities to your whereabouts, no matter how far off the beaten track you are.