Seth Hampson was biking down a trail in the Chilliwack Community Forest Tuesday when he heard muffled cries for help.
His brother Luke, and friends Teagan and Xander Renaerts had gone on ahead of him after he’d fallen off his bike.
Seth looked around and saw another mountain bike dangling two feet from the ground in a small tree.
He could faintly hear someone calling for help.
A man who’d also been biking down the same forested trail, had taken a bad fall down a steep embankment.
Seth, 15, knew what to do.
He searched the area until he spotted the man. He climbed down into a steep gully to see how the injured man was doing.
The man asked him to move the vegetation out of his face so he could breathe better.
The teen called 911, and provided their location.
Seth said he managed to keep his cool because he and his classmates at Cascade Christian School had attended an outdoor education workshop presented to them by a search and rescue (SAR) volunteer on what to do if someone is injured in the back country.
They knew not to move the man, who was clearly in pain. They knew not to give him any water or food in case he needed surgery.
Teagan, 16, who also had outdoor education training, helped the man, staying with him while they waited for help t0 arrive.
The boys, Luke, 12, and Xander, 12, ran up and down the steep trail in the meantime. They ended up guiding the crews from Chilliwack Fire, B.C. ambulance and Chilliwack SAR personnel to the spot where the injured man was awaiting rescue, after moving all their gear away from the pathways.
The man was transported to hospital by air ambulance later that afternoon.
That night on June 23 a Facebook post appeared from the local firefighters’ association praising the quick-thinking interventions taken by the young men in the community forest:
“Tonight we would like to recognize 4 young individuals who stepped up and took heroic action,” according to the firefighters’ post.
“Teagan and Xander, and Seth and Luke Hampson, located an injured man who had taken a nasty fall up the Chilliwack Community Trail. They made contact with the injured man, who was difficult to find, performed critical interventions to ensure he was able to breathe, called 911, and ushered first responders to and from the accident site.
“The decisions these individuals made in the heat of the moment were nothing short of impressive and our hats go off to you guys for your quick thinking and imperative actions!”
But the teen denied their efforts were “heroic” despite that word having being used in the post from the Chilliwack Firefighters Association Local 2826.
“We just did what needed to be done,” Seth said.
He credited the Outdoor Education workshop given to his class by education assistant and CSAR member Rachel Campbell, for knowing a little bit about what to do when confronted with an emergency situation.
“We were thankful that we’d had that training ahead of time,” Seth said. “Without it, we wouldn’t have been so calm.”
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