Preparedness & Recovery

Paramedic Honored for Saving Life at Motocross Track

A paramedic with Bi-County Ambulance Service, received an award for helping stabilize someone who collapsed during a vintage motocross race at the MMX Racing track.

by Chris Kaufman, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif. / January 21, 2016
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(TNS) - "I was there and just doing my job," said Brittany Wilcox, honored for her work in saving the life of a man injured in a motorcycle race.

She added she's shy and doesn't seek attention.

"This is what we do for a living," she said.

Wilcox, a paramedic with Bi-County Ambulance Service, received an award Wednesday for helping stabilize Matt Patterson, who collapsed during a vintage motocross race at the MMX Racing track in Linda.

The Sierra-Sacramento Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency, which certifies paramedics, honored Wilcox during the Yuba/Sutter Emergency Medical Care Committee meeting at the Bi-County Ambulance Service offices in Yuba City.

Wilcox was by herself when she arrived at the patient's side during the Oct. 3 race — her partner was treating another patient for a shoulder injury on the other side of the track.

Being in the middle of a race, the scene was chaotic, and Patterson, 49, of Granite Bay, was unconscious.

Wilcox asked the race be stopped because she didn't have another crew person to treat additional patients, if another incident were to occur.

"Paramedic Brittany Wilcox showed exemplary skill and remained calm in a very chaotic environment," said Shawndel Meder, Rideout Regional Medical Center base hospital program manager.

Patterson's wife, Chris Patterson, and her daughter, Samie, 12, were in town for the award. Matt Patterson and their son TJ, 14, were unable to attend.

"The fact that the hospital was so close was very fortunate because many of these races happen in remote areas," said Chris Patterson, who added the entire family rides motocross, and she raced earlier that day.

"Rideout staff were very helpful and determined that he needed to go to UC Davis for more extensive treatment," Patterson said. "Brittany came out and talked with us afterwards at the hospital, which was great."

Patterson said her husband was admitted on Oct. 3 after the accident and transported to UC Davis later that day and walked out after being discharged on Oct. 6.

After meeting with doctors at UC Davis, she said, a blood clot was likely the cause of the collapse.

"We're an active family, and we're very grateful," Patterson said.

She said her husband plans to continue racing. "We don't live our lives as a solo act; we're part of a community."

Patterson said she reached out to Wilcox on Facebook, and the two have become close. They had their nails done together and have gone for coffee too.

"In your life, you come across some people who have an extra element of compassion," Patterson said of Wilcox. "She has that and had the presence of mind to handle the situation and later to came to visit with me, hug me and talk to my kids right after the accident at the hospital."

Alex Bumpus, executive vice president of Bi-County Ambulance Service, said he's very proud of Wilcox's efforts.

"All her training and experience has paid off — it's a big deal," Bumpus said. "When someone comes back from something like that, it's amazing."

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