When Will Imming III found himself in a serious situation
that required him to make quick decisions and rely on his first aid training,
he realized how important Scouting is in his life.
More specifically, it helped save his friend’s life.
Will, who has been a Scout since the first grade, has
achieved the ranks of Arrow of Light with the Super Achiever, Eagle Scout with
48 merit badges, Brotherhood within the Order of the Arrow, and the Venturing
Silver Scout Award. And as of November 2013, he also possesses the Medal of
The medal merit is awarded to a youth member who has
performed some outstanding act of service or a rare or exceptional character
that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others. Will
became just one of 126 Scouts nationwide to earn the Medal of Merit in 2012.
Below, Will recounts an incident in which he was forced
to apply all of his Scouting skills to “assist a friend in a tragic situation where
seconds counted and taking too long would have changed the outcome in terms
of his friend’s quality of life forever.”
In His Own Words…
This is briefly what happened on that fateful night. My
friend had impulsively decided, without any warning, to skateboard down a very
steep hill that wasn’t paved very well, without a helmet, and in the dark. He
had made it about halfway down the hill when he had lost control and fell. He
had fractured his skull and was bleeding profusely from his head. I had used my
first aid skills to check for vital signs as well as broken bones. When I
noticed a car coming our way, I waved the car down to stop and asked them to
call 911 with the necessary information.
When I had done as much as I could do to that point, I
left Matt in the care of my friends and ran all the way back to my high
school’s varsity football game, where I knew I could find a fire department
paramedic team stationed there and asked them to return with me for help right
away. They understood Matt’s needs and ran back with me to him, with some
equipment. When we returned, they triaged my friend further and radioed in his
condition and vitals so that when the ambulance finally arrived, all they
had to do was scoop and go. As a result of the paramedic’s call into St.
John’s Mercy Hospital, and based on the severity of his injuries, St.
John’s Mercy Hospital was prepared to immediately airlift my friend to
Children’s Hospital. Once at Children’s Hospital, my friend immediately
underwent brain surgery and has since made a full recovery.
After things settled down at the site of the accident, I
noticed how my friends, who were present at the time, seemed more or less
paralyzed. I can honestly understand why they were. They are very good friends
and are very smart people. But the difference was that the Scouting first aid
programs helped me stay calm and more focused in terms of “the bigger picture.”
These friends were either not Scouts or Scouts that had not yet received full
first aid training yet, but thanks to God’s grace, I had that training and it
really made a difference. This, combined with being physically fit, which is
another Scouting attribute, allowed me to run the distances to get additional
help. And that helped us to save a significant amount of time between the
actual accident and his brain surgery.
After the surgery, the doctor told my friend’s mother
that he was lucky that he received treatment as quickly as he did, and that
“the first 15 minutes make all of the difference” in the quality of his life. I
keep thinking of something my dad says from time to time, when I reflect on
these events, and that is, “chance favors the prepared mind.” And Scouting
certainly prepared me more than I realized.
It is a one-of-a-kind organization that transcends the
entire spectrum of life itself. It is a safe haven to practice life skills.