Every year, many Scouts go through emergency preparedness and first-aid training, and they all hope they’ll never find themselves in a situation that calls for them to use that emergency training. Unfortunately, hoping doesn’t make it so, and Scouts know that being prepared to stand up and help during a terrible situation is very important.
Such was the case for Eagle Scout William E. and his two Boy Scout sons Liam and Ben, all from the Boy Scouts of America Northern Star Council, who came upon the scene of a horrific automobile accident while they were driving.
“We had to make a conscious decision to stop and then make a conscious decision to get involved and then use our training,” William, an assistant Scoutmaster for his sons’ troop, said. “You talk about why we stopped. It’s just what we do. It wasn’t a question. You stop and help.”
Once they stopped, they began to see that it was a true emergency situation involving two vehicles and multiple injured people. An SUV had rear-ended a car, crumpling the back section of the car and trapping injured passengers in the back seat.
The driver of the SUV had called 911 but was disoriented and incapable of providing accurate information about the accident. William was able to calm her and had her pass the phone to him so he could speak to the dispatcher about the emergency situation.
“I let 911 know that we needed at least three ambulances and Jaws of Life to get the passengers out of the car,” he said.
While everyone waited for emergency personnel to arrive with the necessary equipment, Ben methodically assigned first-aid duties to all those who had stopped at the scene. The young man admitted that he typically gets queasy at the sight of blood, but something about this situation and his Scout training helped him rise to the occasion.
“The adrenaline or something—I ignored it,” Ben said. “Apparently what I said was enough to get grown adults to help out. I don’t know what I said. They came over.”
Ben and his brother Liam also worked to calm the victims and passed out some drinks when the weather became hot.
Eventually, emergency personnel arrived and went to work extracting the injured and transporting them to medical facilities.
For their heroic actions, William, Ben, and Liam received the Meritorious Action Award.
To learn more about this heroic Scout family, be sure to read the full article in the Woodbury Bulletin.