Hope man recognized for lifesaving efforts

One good deed led to another for Hope resident Don Bush, who was recently awarded a silver medal and a certificate of appreciation from the RCMP for saving the life of a crash victim, last year.

Don Bush (l) was awarded a certificate of appreciation and granted a silver medal by the RCMP for saving the life of a motorcyclist who crashed on an isolated logging road in the Skagit Valley

One good deed led to another for Hope resident Don Bush, who was recently awarded a silver medal and a certificate of appreciation from the RCMP for saving the life of a crash victim, last year.

“The driver survived his injuries and there is no doubt your actions were instrumental in saving his life,” said Keith Robinsson, Superintendent of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment.

And not only was the motorcyclist lucky to have someone whose job with movies, running heavy-duty cranes to touring the stars around the province, gave him the first aid skills he needed to save a life, but to actually have Bush so close by on a isolated logging road that traverses the Skagit Valley from Hope to the US border.

“The tourists had all gone and the hunters weren’t in the valley yet,” said Bush, who is well known for his work cleaning up illegal dump sites and trash-filled campsites.

Generally the elderly volunteer never travels up as far as 23-mile but he had received a phone call telling him of a fresh dump site.  The next day he was under the 23-mile bridge hauling out garbage when he heard the bike coming down the gravel logging road.

“And the bridge was slipperier than snot in September,” said Bush. “All I heard was bang, bang, bang over my head. I didn’t see the actual crash but he flew right across the bridge; his helmet was crushed; his breathing was laboured.”

Bush cut away the man’s riding gear from his bleeding body and began to perform CPR. After a while others began to show up, including a nurse who kept track of the man’s heart rate as Bush continued his lifesaving efforts. A bottle of oxygen Bush “always” keeps in the back seat of his truck “just in case” gave the man one more chance at life.

“Once the ambulance showed up, I backed off and let the paramedics do their work. They worked on him for another good three quarters of an hour before they all made it in the helicopter. I didn’t think the guy was going to make it.”

The victim, a construction worker and new father, attended the ceremony to see his hero honoured –  very grateful that Bush’s lifelong passion to protect the Skagit  put him in the right place at the right time to safe his life.