Bartow, Florida – I say it all the time: Weird things happen at church, and having trained people available to respond is the only way to handle them effectively.
On Sunday afternoon at approximately 12:00, 300 congregants were praying at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church when they heard a huge crashing noise just outside the church doors. One of the deacons went out to check and came back and alerted the congregation a plan had crashed right in the parking lot.
According to news reports, the church maintains a medical team ministry and two nurses immediately jumped into action. They approached the plane and found the pilot was suffering head trauma with heavy bleeding, so they applied pressure and performed a rapid assessment before EMS arrived.
The team covered him up with a blanket because they recognized signs of shock and reassured him they were not going to leave him. The mentioned he was very agitated, which is common in people who suffer a brain injury.
The pilot advised he averted a collision with the church and landed near a tree line. Cars parked in the lot were heavily damaged. Thank God, the plane missed the church.
A couple of things to think about in a situation like this (plane crash, car crash, sports injury, or head trauma at your church)
First, direct someone to call 911 and assume the person has neck and back injury. If in a vehicle and it isn’t on fire, leave the person in place and hold C-spine while discouraging the person from moving his head. Most likely the patient will need to be immoblized and may have several injuries to his body, holding him in place until trained people arrive is a good course to follow.
Second, head wounds bleed a lot. You must be prepared for this because blood will be everywhere. If available, apply a bandage or cloth to the head with pressure. If you observe broken bones which have punctured the skin, keep the patient still until EMS arrives. If the wound is located on a limb and is spurting blood, apply direct pressure and raise the limb – a tourniquet may be needed.
Third, shock is a real possibility. The patient may be agitated and may appear angry, may kick his legs, may struggle with people who are trying to help him. If conscious, reassure the patient and try to minimize movement if possible without further injuring the patient. Monitor the patient until EMS arrives.
Thankfully, the pilot survived the crash and was transported to the hospital.
Here is a video of the incident: